skip to main content

Friday, June 2, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

A Wisconsin group criticizes two of its members of Congress, a new report says the Phoenix area cannot meet its groundwater demands, and Nevada's sporting community sends its priorities to the governor.

play newscast audioPlay

The Senate aims to get the debt limit spending bill to President Biden's desk quickly, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis makes a campaign stop in Iowa, and a new survey finds most straight adults support LGBTQ+ rights.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

At 50 Years, Wilderness Act Working Well for California

play audio
Play

Wednesday, September 3, 2014   

LOS ANGELES – With the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, wilderness advocates are reflecting on the legislation that created the National Wilderness Preservation System – along with the challenges of maintaining it amid renewed calls for resource extraction and passing new wilderness bills in a gridlocked Congress.

Ryan Henson, senior policy director at the California Wilderness Coalition, says the system of protection and management established by the Wilderness Act continues to function well in California.

"When it passed in 1964, it protected several wilderness areas outright, and then it also established a system that was used in the years since to protect many other places," he says. "Today we have about 14 million acres of wilderness in California."

Almost all of California's 149 wilderness areas are on federal public land managed either by the U.S. Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management.

Henson warns that weakening or undoing the Wilderness Act would throw millions of acres of pristine public land into jeopardy by making them vulnerable to resource extraction or destructive recreation.

"It wasn't too many months ago that a congressman in California proposed Yosemite National Park and several wilderness areas be opened to logging," Henson says. "That was just earlier this year."

He adds that it's easy to forget some high-value recreation areas protected by the Wilderness Act once were slated for development.

"There were ski resorts, there were highways, big dams, huge logging projects, mining projects," he says. "All sorts of things that could've spoiled that wild country that today, is available in its wild condition for everyone to go out and enjoy."

Wilderness can only be designated by Congress – and despite resistance to creating new wilderness among some lawmakers, Daniel Rossman, regional associate at the Los Angeles office of The Wilderness Society, says there is legislation ready to go should the political climate change.

"We should take the long view," says Rossman. "Every president since the act of '64 has passed wilderness-protection bills. This current Congress has been a very tough one, but there are places waiting to be protected – the rugged San Gabriel Mountains just outside of Los Angeles to the majestic California desert, to the California coast."

Additional proposals include a bill to expand protection to California condor habitat along the Central Coast and wilderness protection for the Carizzo Plain.


get more stories like this via email

Almost all departments in Connecticut schools saw shortages in 2022, following a long-standing national trend. A 2022 American Federation of Teachers report found before the COVID-19 pandemic, almost 300,000 teachers were leaving the profession each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

As the school year ends, Connecticut's teacher shortage seems to have only worsened. In March, school districts across the state reported having 2,60…


Social Issues

play sound

A Muslim rights group is taking the Kent County Sheriff's Office to court for forcing a Michigan woman to remove her hijab for a booking photo…

Social Issues

play sound

A rally was held in Salem Thursday to urge passage of a bill to provide food assistance to Oregonians regardless of their immigration status…


Pennsylvanians must register to vote by Oct. 23 to be eligible to vote in the general election on Nov. 7. (Vesperstock/AdobeStock)

Social Issues

play sound

The Keystone State's general election is less than six months away and a nonpartisan, grassroots organization is already getting the word out to …

Social Issues

play sound

This week's debt ceiling deal saw federal policymakers compromise on budget-related matters, but a new awareness campaign from a Wisconsin grassroots …

A 2019 report from the New York State Comptroller's Office found almost 85% of green jobs were in increased demand. A 2022 report found there are 35,700 workers in New Jersey's green economy. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Offshore wind in New York and New Jersey is becoming a large contributor to job growth. New York's offshore wind investments are slated to create …

Social Issues

play sound

Hoosiers could play a pivotal role in pushing back against a surge of hate and violence against Jews in America. Nearly two-thirds of all …

Environment

play sound

In Yellowstone National Park, 30,000 acres are protected from mining by Congressional order, but there is a sliver left unprotected, and a Montana …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021