Ruth Sandra Sperling
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At 8:14 PM this evening, the Press-Enterprise Riverside County published an article - the Senate has approved a new bill for protecting as Wilderness about 2 million acres nationwide and about 190,000 acres in Riverside County.
Quoting the article:
"Although the legislation still needs House of Representatives approval and the president's signature, backers were optimistic because the House approved a version of the bill last year and Obama ran on a pro-environment platform."
We need what Wilderness we have left protected.
Just a few days ago I quoted Aldo Leopold on Wilderness from his book, A Sand County Almanac and I am going to reiterate one of the quotes from "Wilderness For Science":
"One cannot study the physiology of Montana in the Amazon; each biotic province needs its own wilderness for comparative studies of used and unused land."
So, for planet-wide health, we need the healthy Wilderness lands protected, but they also serve to help us in their own biotic provinces in restoring other lands to a healthy condition as these Wilderness lands are examples/samples of healthy land in their biotic provinces.
Another quote from the same writing by Aldo Leopold:
"In many cases we literally do not know how good a performance to expect of healthy land unless we have a wild area for comparison with sick ones. .... In short all available wild areas, large or small, are likely to have value as norms for land science. Recreation is not their only, or even their principal, utility."
Though I think recreation in wild lands such as hiking, climbing, snow-shoeing and river-rafting is important for people to do, I am really concerned about the land health on our planet and protecting more Wilderness gives me hope for improving land health as well as protecting it!
From the above-referenced article, I understand that this bill incorporates many bills - about 160 - with support from California Congressional legislators Senator Barbara Boxer, Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Mary Bono Mack.
Also, from the article, I understand that some of the Wilderness protected will be in the Sierra Nevada - a globally significant Biodiversity Hotspot.
Thank You to them -- and all the supporters who will make it happen!!