Newsletter Archive

DSC_1427a3aOverlooking Greater Canyonlands, Utah                                                                                                (Mike Painter)

September 3, 2014

Dear CalUWild friends-

Today marks the actual 50th Anniversary of the signing of the Wilderness Act. It deserves special recognition, so here are some brief thoughts.

The Wilderness Act is one of America’s most significant pieces of environmental legislation. It has provided a model for many places around the world, though many cultures have adapted its principles to their own situations. Here in the U.S. the very concept of wilderness is often under attack by people all across the political and philosophical spectrum. The Act’s very first sentence states that it was passed

[i]n order 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 …

That is why Wilderness is important-to remind people that they are a part of the natural world, not the masters of it. People need to be somewhat humble in the face of Nature.

I was fortunate to have parents who took us kids camping and hiking from a very early age. This is where I got my love of Nature and wilderness from. And while direct experience is not the only way to foster a love of the wild, it certainly makes it more possible. Not everyone is that fortunate, however. Nowadays, kids are much more restricted in their outdoor activities than when I was growing up. And many adults don’t take the time out of their hurried lives to get outdoors and away. So if you haven’t been out in the wild for while, I hope you can find the opportunity. And take someone else along who might benefit from the experience!

Finally, don’t forget that our wild places won’t remain wild if all of us don’t work actively to protect them. CalUWild’s mission from the start has been to provide the tools to enable citizens to be effective advocates for the lands they love. We’re proud of our accomplishments over the last 17 years, but the truth is that we couldn’t do it without all of you. Thank you for all your support and efforts!

As has been his custom for the last five years, Pres. Obama has declared this September to be National Wilderness Month. You can read his proclamation here .

The New York Times published an editorial yesterday celebrating the 50th Anniversary.

Barry Lopez wrote an article in Outside about Wilderness at 50.

An administrative note: It was pointed out that our August Update from the weekend gave no instructions for ordering the 50th Anniversary poster by Tom Killion. To do so, please make out a check to CalUWild and mail it to P.O. Box 210474, San Francisco, CA 94121. We’ll send out your posters right away. Again, prices are $10 each, plus a flat $5 shipping for up to 4. I apologize for the editorial oversight.

Happy 50th!

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