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    Description

    The 1964 Wilderness Act and subsequent wilderness legislation have resulted in the designation of over 106 million acres of the United States as wilderness. Charged with the responsibility of protecting a significant portion of federal lands as wilderness, the federal land management agencies with responsibility for wilderness stewardship (Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and National Park Service) have often struggled with how to translate legislative direction into policy and management practices. The direction to manage wilderness in a manner that protects natural ecosystems and minimizes interference with natural processes provides a huge challenge for those who often feel their first priority is to fulfill the more specific missions of their individual agencies (e.g., management for healthy wildlife populations, provision of opportunities for recreation, or maximization of multiple use of forest or range lands). When coupled with rapidly changing environmental, social, and technological conditions (Vitousek et al. 2000; Stankey 2000; Watson 2000), wilderness managers are faced with immense challenges.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Parsons, David J.; Cole, David N. 2003. The challenge of wilderness stewardship. George Wright forum. 20(3): 22-25

    Keywords

    wilderness, management, protection, stewardship

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/23550