Wilderness Act’s call for ‘untrammeled’ lands tough to balance with visitor use

September 7, 2014 2:07 AM

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It grows on the rockiest, sun-baked sides of the mountain. It spurns moist creek bottoms where its lookalike thimbleberry cousin thrives. It doesn’t need the loamy soil huckleberries like. Yet it’s the sweetest berry in the backcountry.

Wilderness works the same way. It lacks the paved roads of a national park. It often hides its wonders behind mundane forest like pearls beneath an oyster’s drab shell. By federal law, it’s “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who ...

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