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Wilderness Act Makes Wilderness Inaccessible and Dangerous



(p. A19) ONE day in early 1970, a cross-country skier got lost along the 46-mile Kekekabic Trail, which winds through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota. Unable to make his way out, he died of exposure.

In response, the Forest Service installed markers along the trail. But when, years later, it became time to replace them, the agency refused, claiming that the 1964 Wilderness Act banned signage in the nation's wilderness areas.


. . .


Over the decades an obvious contradiction has emerged between preservation and access. As the Forest Service, the National Park Service and the Bureau of Land Management -- each of which claims jurisdiction over different wilderness areas -- adopted stricter interpretations of the act, they forbade signs, baby strollers, certain climbing tools and carts that hunters use to carry game.

As a result, the agencies have made these supposedly open recreational areas inaccessible and even dangerous, putting themselves in opposition to healthy and environmentally sound human-powered activities, the very thing Congress intended the Wilderness Act to promote.



For the full commentary, see:

TED STROLL. "Aw, Wilderness!." The New York Times (Fri., August 27, 2010): A19.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the article was dated August 26, 2010.)






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