Human Influence and Intervention

Should wilderness stewards intentionally manipulate wilderness ecosystems to compensate for human influences that have altered natural conditions? Or should they refrain from intervening and allow these systems to adapt and evolve as they will? Wilderness stewards are confronted with this issue as they consider how best to protect wilderness character and values, given inevitable, pervasive and accelerating human effects.  The Wilderness Act has been used to support decisions both to intervene to restore historic conditions or to not intervene and allow natural progression. Across agencies, little policy guidance exists and by default, case-by-case, incremental decision-making is standard.

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The Society for Wilderness Stewardship is a non-profit, charitable organization under the 501 (c)(3) section of the Internal Revenue Code.