Wilderness Values, Benefits, Uses and Threats

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This presentation on the values, benefits uses and threats to wilderness was presented at the WILD9 Wilderness Management Seminar (November 2009).

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  • Wilderness legislation is directly tied to values (attributes) of society – these are developed from personal values (historic ties)Wilderness is preserved and managed for the benefits and values it provides people.McClosky (1966) “The evolution has blended many political, religious and cultural meanings into deeply felt personal convictions. Those who administer that law must look to these convictions to understand why the law exists”Understanding of this helps us evaluate the changes occurring in wilderness and consider the changes in the way our evolving culture sees these values over time.
  • Wilderness Values, Benefits, Uses and Threats

    1. 1. Wilderness Values, Benefits, Uses and Threats<br />Wilderness Management Seminar<br />Merida, Mexico 2009 <br />
    2. 2. How Do You View Wilderness?<br />
    3. 3. …to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefitsof an enduring resource of wilderness.<br />…administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people…<br />The Wilderness Act:<br />… wilderness areas shall be devoted to the public purposes of recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical use.<br />may contain<br />ecological, geological, scientific, educational, scenic or historical value<br />
    4. 4. Wilderness Character<br />… the combination of biophysical, experiential, and symbolic ideals that distinguish wilderness from all other lands. <br />…a complex set of relationships between the land, its management, and the meanings people associate with wilderness.<br />
    5. 5. Qualities of Wilderness Character<br />Untrammeled<br />Natural<br />Undeveloped<br />Solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation<br />
    6. 6. Qualities of Wilderness Character<br />Untrammeled<br />Natural<br />Undeveloped<br />Solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation<br />
    7. 7. How do Americans Value Wilderness?<br />The National Survey on Recreation and the Environment (NSRE)<br />Queries about lands managed by all four federal wilderness management agencies<br />Random survey of the general public<br />Defined what wilderness is and what uses are allowed<br />
    8. 8. Should we designate more Wilderness within existing Federal lands?<br />“more public land should be set aside as wilderness”<br />67% agree<br />
    9. 9. &quot;Wilderness areas provide a variety of benefits for different people. For each benefit I read, please tell me whether it is extremely important, very important, moderately important, slightly important, or not important at all to you as a reason to preserve wilderness and primitive areas.&quot;<br />
    10. 10. What are the Top FiveValues of Wilderness 2000?<br />Protecting air quality<br />Protecting water quality<br />Protecting wildlife habitat<br />Protecting T&E species<br />Legacy for future generations<br />
    11. 11. What are the Top Five Values of Wilderness 2007?<br />Protecting air quality<br />Protecting water quality<br />Protecting wildlife habitat<br />Legacy for future generations<br />Protecting T&E species<br />
    12. 12. What are the Lowest 4 Values of Wilderness 2000?<br /> Providing recreation opportunities<br /> Providing spiritual inspiration<br /> Using areas for scientific study<br /> Stimulate income for the tourism industry<br />
    13. 13. What are the Lowest 4 Values of Wilderness 2007?<br /> Providing recreation opportunities<br />Using areas for scientific study<br /> Providing spiritual inspiration<br /> Stimulate income for the tourism industry<br />
    14. 14. Themes<br />Experiential<br />Scientific<br />Symbolic and Spiritual<br />Economics<br />
    15. 15. Experiential <br />Direct value of the wilderness experience<br />
    16. 16. Experiential <br />Direct value of the wilderness experience<br />Recreation – physical and mental health, outdoor skills, teamwork<br />Personal growth and healing – self esteem, independence, confidence, group skills<br />Education – living classroom, learn to live more self sufficiently in every day life<br />Scenic/aesthetic – in person, through a window, via photographs<br />Cultural – development of traditional skills<br />
    17. 17. Scientific <br />Value of wilderness as a scientific resource and environmental baseline<br />
    18. 18. Scientific <br />Value of wilderness as a scientific resource and environmental baseline<br />Benchmark – understand extent of impacts elsewhere, study natural processes/systems, gene pools and reservoirs of biological diversity<br />Living laboratory – for scientific and medicinal research, including human behavior<br />Sanctuaries for flora and fauna – dependant on large, remote undisturbed areas<br />Ecological – Species biodiversity, life support systems, planet health -- overlaps with economics <br />Geological – Preserve natural features – helps us discover history of the planet, see how present ecological systems compare to past ones, anticipate what future changes might occur<br />
    19. 19. Symbolic and Spiritual <br />© HawkRosales<br />© HawkRosales<br />© HawkRosales<br />Symbolic and spiritual values of wilderness to the nation and the world<br />© Hawk Rosales<br />
    20. 20. Symbolic and Spiritual <br />Symbolic and spiritual values of wilderness to the nation and the world<br />Wilderness is a symbol of respect for the naturalness and solitude that has been displaced by civilization on most of the earth (Hendee 2002)<br />Spiritual inspiration<br />Provides inspiration for art, music, literature<br />Historical/cultural – connections with the past, helps us understand the human connection with wild environments, part of our natural character<br />Maintains traditional, primitive skills<br />Protection of sacred spaces for spiritual,<br /> cultural and religious purposes<br />
    21. 21. Economics <br />Value of wilderness as a commodity or place that generates direct and indirect economic benefits<br />
    22. 22. Economics <br />Value of wilderness as a commodity or place that generates direct and indirect economic benefits<br />Direct and indirect income<br />Ecological services – such as watershed protection and carbon storage, pollination<br />Subsistence use<br />Tourism and rural growth<br />Service jobs<br />Off site – benefits such as off site hunting<br />
    23. 23. Economics <br />Passive (non-use) benefits<br />Option value - Future direct, indirect, and off-site benefits <br />Bequest value - Value of conserving wildlands for future generations<br />Existence value - Benefits from knowledge of continued existence<br />
    24. 24. Threats<br />Recreation - overuse<br />Livestock<br />Mining<br />Fire<br />Exotic species and disease<br />Pollutants<br />Adjacent lands<br />Agency management actions<br />Others?<br />
    25. 25. Others?<br />
    26. 26. “In the end, dedicated, inspired people empowered by effective legislation will ensure that the spirit and services of wilderness will thrive and permeate our society, preserving a world that we are proud to hand over to those who come after us.” <br />Vance G. Martin and Ian C. Player<br />Forward, A Handbook on International Wilderness Law and Policy<br />

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