Canoe & Kayak’s July 2014 “Wilderness Issue” celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act which has protected some of America’s most treasured waterways since 1964. Experiencing wild places is one of the most appealing aspect of canoeing and kayaking, whether they are officially designated wilderness areas or simply a patch of wild-ness on a local river or lake. Many of these places are under threat.
In our Voices of Wilderness series, accomplished paddlers and wilderness advocates speak about their connection to wild waterways, what the future holds for the places they love, and how best to protect them for future generations.
Share a story about your favorite waterway: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Most people think big industry is the major threat to wilderness areas. I think we should also be concerned with technology destroying the wilderness experience.
Compare two people—one just off the river, the other who spent the day surfing the web. Who is happier and more fulfilled?
I paddled 1,243 miles up the Columbia River. It was three months of paddling with zero designated wilderness areas.
As Theodore Roosevelt said, “There can be no greater issue than that of conservation in this country.” Your favorite paddling locale could be threatened by development, industry or pollution. Will you sit idle and watch it disappear?
I believe that true paddlers paddle—not just for two weeks out of every summer or for 70 days in the Arctic once or twice in their lifetime. They paddle whenever they can, near or far, urban or wilderness.
Wilderness is a resource for exploration, the human spirit and exceptional experience, but more importantly it is a place for the planet to breathe, regenerate and sustain itself.