Sunday, September 11, 2011

Thank you John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt

The Wilderness act of 1964 was written by Howard Zahniser of the Wilderness Society and signed into law by the much maligned Lyndon B Johnson. Today there are 107,426,608 acres protected in the United States. We have had the pleasure of enjoying this great gift from the Buffalo River Wilderness area in Arkansas to several majestic areas in the Rockies.  There are also grasslands, swamps and coastal areas for the public to enjoy. The fish pictured here were all caught in a wilderness stream. They probaly have never seen a dry fly before and they have been returned to their protected streams. We have taken big game, upland game and waterfowl in these great places.
   I grew up near Stuttgart, Arkansas, where the 25hp Johnson, Willy's Jeep, and Honda 4 wheeler were king. They have taken me to many great outdoor spots and back and I appreciate the new terrain they opened up to us, BUT, how great is it to be on a isolated river or mountain top and not hear another human sound, or see a Miller Lite bottle or a two foot deep tire rut. The only sight or sound is either an airplane motor or a distant jet contrail. We love modern conveniences as much as the next guy so don't confuse this as a total back to nature tirade! Trade your four wheeler or john boat for a pair of hiking boots or a raft or canoe for two hours or two days. We think it will make a lasting impression. Also, it's a pretty good  place for your tax money to work.  So thanks John Muir and Teddy Roosevelt , the farsighted guys that started everything. Thanks Frank Church and Mo Udall. And especially thanks to Howard Zahniser.  This quote is the basis for their life's work.

“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain"

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