About Wilderness

What is a wilderness area?  It is federal land protected under the 1964 National Wilderness Preservation System.  This Act states: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized 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.”

Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Area panorama photo


Wilderness designation for the Scotchman Peaks would preserve opportunities for hiking, hunting, photography, adventure and solitude for both residents and tourists. It would protect the area’s natural beauty and scenic vistas, which draws people, jobs and resources to the region. There are many other benefits:

“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Upon signing the Wilderness Act in 1964

Recreation. The Scotchmans provide unparalleled opportunities for solitude, hiking, backpacking, hunting and photography.

Economic. Western counties with protected lands have the most vibrant, diverse and successful economies. Creation of new wilderness areas increases property values, stimulates economic growth and brings prosperity. Since 1987, the Forest Service has managed the Scotchmans as a proposed wilderness. Continued preservation would not negatively impact the resource-based segment of our local economy, which utilizes other more suitable areas.

Preservation. The Scotchmans are wild, rugged and roadless, with alpine vistas and clear streams flowing into Lake Pend Oreille. Many plant and animal species call the Scotchmans home. This area provides prime habitat for mountain goat, elk, moose, deer, bull trout, black bears and grizzlies. Leaving this special place undisturbed protects plants, wildlife and water quality. The Scotchman Peaks provide unparalleled access to experience the wilderness and the great outdoors. In preserving wilderness, we protect scientific and educational opportunities otherwise unavailable.

You can get answers to many questions about Wilderness Areas in general and the Scotchman Peaks Wilderness Area in particular on our FAQs page.

For more information on the Wilderness Act, view or download The Wilderness Society‘s comprehensive Wilderness Act handbook here.

For an excellent and timeless opinion on the need for multiple-use wilderness lands, read this article republished with the permission of the Bonner County Bee, titled “Why We Need Wilderness Designation For the Scotchman Peaks

Share this Page