The core of the Wilderness Act of 1964

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

    We recently talked about the Wilderness Act and its implications in Yosemite. It was passed by Congress in1964 and embellished in 1984 when the “California Wilderness Act.” was passed  That’s when the area covered expandedby 3 millions acres and included Half Dome. I thought it would be useful to discuss the core act a bit.

     In’64 the Feds developed the National Wilderness Preservation System “to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization, does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States and its possessions, leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition, … [by securing] for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness.”    

   The act makes it clear that federal agencies are required to administer designated wilderness “for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such manner as will leave them unimpaired for future use as wilderness, and so as to provide for the protection of these areas, the preservation of their wilderness character, and for the gathering and dissemination of information regarding their use and enjoyment as wilderness. Under the act, wilderness areas are devoted to the public purposes of recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical use. 

     The Act further states that “…there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area designated by this Act and, except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area.” Ipso facto – those is the guidelines that the folks at Yosemite need to follow to make sure your grandkids inherit the same park we enjoy today.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value.” – Theodore Roosevelt

*MrHalfDome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com*

About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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