Celebrating Wilderness

It’s a pleasure to be here to help celebrate this historic occasion.

Wilderness has been a big part of my life, both personally and professionally. One of the hats I have worn during my career was as director of the Forest Service’s national Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers program. Before becoming Associate Chief, I served as Regional Forester in the Pacific Northwest, where we managed almost 4.7 million acres of wilderness on the national forests. That’s an area about three times the size of Delaware.

A Vision for the Future of Wilderness Stewardship

Thank you. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be here today.

It is fitting that we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act here in New Mexico, where wilderness got its first start. The Forest Service was founded in 1905, not long after the closing of the western frontier. The wildness of the American frontier was part of what we were protecting on the national forests.