Editorial: Mountain bikers and allies in Congress threatening wilderness areas with demands for access

As if designating new wilderness areas was not a great-enough challenge, there is today a well-orchestrated effort underway to weaken the very heart of The Wilderness Act itself. This effort, which would degrade the superlative quality of existing wilderness and impair the character of future wilderness areas, involves both the predictable usual suspects and others.

These "others" are entities that claim to understand conservation but whose agenda really involves a contemporary version of Manifest Destiny: to extend civilization into the last vestiges of our wildlands. They see wilderness as being there to be manipulated for their own use. Behind this mentality is not maliciousness but an ignorance about the habitat needs of creatures whose survival depends upon expansive, undisturbed landscapes. 

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