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Individual Highlight

Wilderness science and its role in wilderness stewardship

Photo of Looking out over the southwestern portion of the expansive Bob Marshall Wilderness Area in northwestern Montana.Looking out over the southwestern portion of the expansive Bob Marshall Wilderness Area in northwestern Montana.Snapshot : Wilderness areas provide a unique and special place to disconnect from civilization and reconnect with nature. It is easy to assume these lands require little to no management given their protected status but that assumption can’t be further from the truth. The 110 million acres designated as wilderness in the U.S. face challengesfrom many factors such as air pollution, climate change, invasive species, and influence from adjacent land use.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Fox, Susan 
Research Location : United States
Research Station : Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS)
Year : 2017
Highlight ID : 1379

Summary

Effective wilderness stewardship relies on understanding the factors such as air pollution, climate change, invasive species, and influence from adjacent land use that impact wilderness characteristics and values.Forest Service scientists collaborated with others to provide scientific papers for a special issue of The Journal of Forestry dedicated to America’s National Wilderness Preservation System. This issue looked at the challenges facing the wilderness agencies: Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Forest Service. It provides peer-reviewed scientific findings on social science, economics, recreation, soundscapes, wildlife, relevancy, and the balancing act managers seek between minimizing interventions while effectively managing these lands. In the past, conference proceedings were the main outlet for such synopses but were often not peer reviewed and had limited distribution. This collaboration of science-based information provides a valuable resource to wilderness managers across the U.S.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

 
  • Humboldt State University
  • The Wilderness Society
  • U.S. Geological Society, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute
  • University of Vermont