Even though most of the month has now passed, I think it’s an appropriate time to recognize “National Wilderness Month.” September is a great month to think about our nation’s wild-lands. Each September marks the anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act and the annual National Public Lands Day. It’s also my favorite time of year to be outside in nature — and I bet more than a few of you agree.
From the fall harvest to the changing leaves, cool evenings and clear skies, September is a great month to reflect upon the wonderful gifts of a bountiful summer and look forward to the changing seasons ahead. **I guess if you don’t like snow, or if you live in a climate that doesn’t vary much…this might not resonate with you. But, in general, September tends to bring about a sense of a new start and fresh perspective. Perhaps that relates to the ingrained patterns of the US school system? For whatever reason, it is September.
From my quick research, the Presidential proclamation of National Wilderness Month began 2009, with an official honoring of the 1964 Wilderness Act and recognizing the Obama administration’s Omnibus Public Land Management Act. In 2010, President Obama commented on our obligation to ensure that future generations have the same opportunities to explore and enjoy wild-nature as we have:
“This month, we renew our pledge to build upon the legacy of our forebears. Together, we must ensure that future generations can experience the tranquility and grandeur of America’s natural places. As we resolve to meet this responsibility, let us also reflect on the ways in which our lives have been enriched by the gift of the American wilderness.”
In his 2011 proclamation, the President focused on the many benefits we receive from wild-nature. I found his comments to speak so clearly to why WILD and our partners are committed to the Nature Needs Half vision. Our dependence on wild-nature is undeniable. Wild-nature not only provides wonderful recreation opportunities, but supports our life – and all life. Here’s a brief excerpt:
“As we continue our country’s proud journey and explore new opportunities in the 21st century, the importance of maintaining our wilderness has only grown. Protecting our wilderness areas and their riches — clean water, stretches of undisturbed land, thriving wildlife, and healthy ecosystems — is critical to the health of our environment and our communities. Today, wilderness areas serve as places for us to roam, hunt, fish, and find solitude. They are also strong engines of local economies, providing tourism and recreation revenue for communities.”