Why Wilderness

Posted on Monday, April 15th, 2019 by »

Americans came together 49 years ago to celebrate the first Earth Day. We think and act locally to make our corner of the earth a better place to be. But, the Earth Day vision, as the name suggests, is global. We have cleaned up our water and reduced air pollution. We have built trails and saved wild rivers and wild places for ourselves, our kids and our grand kids.

Why Wilderness is important is both universal and personal. I hike and paddle into wild places today so I can feel like I did when I was 10 years old and my dad took me down the Allagash river in northern Maine. There was so much new to me in those wild woods and waters; mystery, fun, excitement. I grew up more in those 10 days than I had in my first 10 years.

For many people, saving wild country is about leaving places for their kids and grandkids to explore and grow up wild in.  As Rebecca Sanchez puts it: “I appreciate how the mountains bring my kids to life.  Here they are free to roam, explore nature, and help one another reach new heights.”

But wilderness is not only for our kids and future; it’s for all of us, now. We need to be able to find quiet places in our own wild backyards. We need places open for hiking, horseback riding, berry picking, fishing and hunting. We need places beyond the sounds and distractions motors bring. We need places to hear elk bugle, deer snort and mountain goats tap their hooves on loose rocks. We need to hear the owl ask “Who, who?”

Many people take action to save wilderness because they care about the wild flowers and native forests. Or they want bears, moose, wolverines and other critters to have wild places too. Whether it’s our kids or mountain goat kids; we all need wild places where we can thrive.

Ask yourself:  What’s in your heart?  Where’s your wild place? And, what will you do to save it?

For many, the answers bring us together to save the wild Scotchmans. If you come up with that answer too, then become a Friend. You’ll join others that find their wild place in the Scotchman Peaks too.

About The Author:

Phil Hough is the Executive Director of the Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness.

He has hiked the "triple crown": the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail and the Pacific Crest trail (twice). He has also paddled the length of the Yukon river. Phil's love of wilderness guides him as he works to save the incrediblly wild Scotchman Peaks, one of the last and largest roadless places in northern Idaho and western Montana.

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2 Responses

  1. Tim West says:

    What exactly are we saving the Scotchmans Peak from? I wasn’t aware it was in danger of anything

    • mm Phil Hough says:

      Congressional Designation will keep the Scotchman Peaks just as they are now, wilderness. Anything else means the area’s management is subject to change. There’s always a risk in that in change we will lose the wilderness character of the area.

Leave a Reply to Tim West