By Zachary Collier
"Why wilderness? Because we like the taste of freedom. Because we like the smell of danger." ―Edward Abbey
Wilderness means different things to different people. For some, heading out of cell phone range is enough to make them feel like Grizzly Adams, but the Wilderness Act, signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, defines wilderness as more. In almost poetic prose the authors of the Act wrote:
"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 its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain... an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence... which is protected and managed so as to preserve its natural conditions..."
[Above: Rough and Ready Creek, just outside the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, is ripe for protection. All photos courtesy of Zachary Collier/Northwest Rafting Co.]