What is Wilderness?

What is Wilderness?

What is Wilderness?

Wilderness has a formal definition, but beyond that, for many people, wilderness holds a special place in the heart and mind. Click the links on the left to learn the many ways that wilderness benefits the individual as well as our society, at large. Find the many uses of wilderness — uses that span from personal solitude to social benefits like clean air and water, healthy wildlife populations and a protected cultural legacy. And read one man's perspective onwilderness as multiple use.

Check out this great wilderness video from the National Park Service.


Wilderness Defined

Wilderness means many things to many people—watersheds to collect and purify our water; places for our children and theirs to grow healthy and capable; habitat for plants and wildlife; biomedical storehouses to protect tomorrow's scientific and medical discoveries; adventure and exploration; fair chase and a quality hunt; good fishing; archaeological windows into the past, etched into rock and lying on the ground, inviting us to wonder; escape from the noise and rush of civilization; where we can experience solitude and the beauty and wonder of Creation. (...)


Many Uses of Wilderness

Wilderness provides essential services…

  • Healthy watersheds to provide clean water

  • Healthy plant communities that give us fresh air to breathe

  • Healthy soil that provides nutrients for our bodies


Wilderness is Multiple Use

By Bill Schneider

Have you ever heard somebody say they prefer “multiple use” over Wilderness? I have what seems like a thousand times, and every time I hear it, I say to myself, wrong! (...)


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