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Wild cemeteries?Author(s): Les Wadzinski
Source: In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 59-64
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
PDF: Download Publication (1.4 MB)
DescriptionOne aspect of wilderness often not considered by managers is that of how to manage cemeteries within wilderness boundaries. In wildernesses where humans have left their mark, particularly such as those found in the eastern United States, wilderness staff may find themselves in the role of cemetery manager as well as wilderness manager. The challenges are many. A manager must balance wilderness values with the deep emotional need of people to bury and honor their dead. This may require making decisions regarding requests for motorized access, burial, maintenance, and reconciling national wilderness laws with local laws. In this case study, wilderness managers developed a policy for motorized access to cemeteries that preserved wilderness character but still met the intent of the legislation that created this wilderness. Wilderness staff, upon request, will provide motorized transportation for cemetery visitors. Visitation criteria are in place, and routes to the cemeteries are maintained to a minimal level for motorized use. Regular wilderness users are educated as to the rationale behind this apparent conflict with wilderness character. The results have been positive due to a sense of understanding by cemetery visitors and wilderness visitors, and by the diligence of wilderness managers to be responsive to all concerned parties.
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CitationWadzinski, Les. 2007. Wild cemeteries?. In: Watson, Alan; Sproull, Janet; Dean, Liese, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Eighth World Wilderness Congress symposium; September 30-October 6, 2005; Anchorage, AK. Proceedings RMRS-P-49. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 59-64
Keywordswilderness, biodiversity, protected areas, economics, subsistence, tourism, traditional knowledge, community involvement, policy, stewardship, education, spiritual values
- The challenge of doing science in wilderness: historical, legal, and policy context
- Integrating cultural resources and wilderness character
- Keeping wilderness wild: increasing effectiveness with limited resources
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