The Wilderness Need Association is based on three premises
- We go to the wilderness because we need to go to the wilderness.
- We share what we see and experience—we are wilderness witnesses.
- We assist and talk with others who need to visit wilderness.
We call this website wildernessneed.org because we believe that people need wilderness. The Wilderness Act of 1964 described wilderness as: An area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.
“Untrammeled” indicates that people can “trammel,” they can severely impact land and natural processes. In wilderness, the law intends for human impacts to be minimized. The term “visitor” and criteria for designating wilderness also included in the Act (e.g. “outstanding opportunities for solitude” and “primitive and unconfined…recreation”) indicate that wilderness offers something unique for human experience and maybe infers people need to visit wilderness in order to keep perspective. To us, these terms in the Wilderness Act balance the concept of protecting the wilderness with the need to maximize wilderness user experience (full text of 1964 Wilderness Act).
For more ideas on federal wilderness management see our commentary on Finding a New Way For Wilderness which ran in The Forestry Source (Society of American Foresters’ monthly newspaper) in October 2016 .