Jessica Read wins the 2010 Sanders County essay contest

In my opinion, I strongly believe that wilderness has value. Not only does it help fuel the eco system; it provides recreational areas for humans. We are able to do things such as ski, hunt, fish, hike and many other recreational hobbies because we are gifted with wilderness. Without it, humans would be greatly affected because they wouldn’t able to use it to their enjoyment. Not only does wilderness allow recreations, it is a necessity to many people in many different ways such as warmth, exercise, and emotional stability.

When you think of wilderness, do you think only of summer? If so, you should also think about winter and how the wilderness plays a huge roll. People can ski in the high Alps, if they desire, or go to places where there is an actual designated ski recreation area. Without the wilderness, people wouldn’t be able to stay as active as in the summer because of weather conditions. Because humans are gifted with wilderness, they are able to stay active all months of the year and enjoy themselves while staying active.

Not only is wilderness important for humans and their recreational habits, it’s important for nature itself. Without wilderness, the waters wouldn’t be as clean, animals wouldn’t have a place to hide and subsist, birds wouldn’t have a place to raise their young, and many more things. Wilderness consists of not only mountains and water, but many items that get missed; trees, shrubs, organic material, etc. There are many things that get missed when humans think of the wilderness, thinking selfishly instead of selflessly. Instead of trying to preserve the beautiful thing we call wilderness land, many consumers use it and don’t think twice about replenishing and preserving it. The wilderness is important not only to humans, but nature itself.

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Categories: Blog
About The Author:

Sandy Compton has been program coordinator for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness since 2009. He is also a storyteller and author of both fiction and non-fiction books, and the publisher at

In addition to his other duties, he runs the FSPW All Star Trail Team (, which works on Forest Service trails in the Scotchman Peaks. He is a trail surveyor as well, and a C-Certified Crosscut Bucker/Feller and USFS National Saw Policy OHLEC instructor.

Sandy grew up on a small farm/woodlot at the south end of the proposed wilderness and lives there still. He is also board member of the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and a planning team member for the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute.

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