Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

The multiple values of wilderness


H. Ken Cordell
John C. Bergstrom
J. Michael Bowker



Publication type:

Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Primary Station(s):

Southern Research Station


In: The Multiple Values of Wilderness: 1-6


Gone are those of the 1950s and early 1960s who championed preserving wild lands and who influenced and saw through the birth of the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS). Gone too are myriad eager managers and proponents of wild land protection of the late 1960s and 1970s who helped rear the fledgling Wilderness1 system and bring it into adolescence by adding management practices and policy interpretations. In this, the 40th year since the birth of the NWPS, this middle-age federal land system is surrounded by many new faces, as its childhood friends have moved on to other callings, have retired, or are no longer with us. The people who now make up this country's political leadership and the administrators of the federal land management system are all new. These new faces, for the most part, have little first-hand knowledge of the history of Wilderness protection in this country, nor do they have as much knowledge of the compelling reasons for the creation of our system to protect wildlands as did those who helped bring it into world. The 1960s "hype" of birthing an unprecedented new federal lands system has long since faded. Without some form of personal attachment to the Wilderness Act, however, the new players on the scene have little from which to draw in forming a personal position on the National Wilderness Preservation System.


Cordell, H. Ken; Bergstrom, John C.; Bowker, J. Michael. 2005. The multiple values of wilderness. In: The Multiple Values of Wilderness: 1-6

Publication Notes

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.