FWS

FWS

News, Stories & Projects

In the most famous passage of the Wilderness Act, writer Howard Zahniser defines wilderness beautifully and concisely: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” As my crewmates and I work to prepare Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge to host the Wilderness Act’s 50th birthday party

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When William Bradford hopped off of the Mayflower and onto Plymouth Rock, he described the landscape that lay before him as a “hideous and desolate wilderness.” Wilderness, in 1620, was not a scarce resource to be protected and treasured. It was scary and empty, a wasted space awaiting the day that an enterprising human might chop it up, organize it, and put it to good use.

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Today, we’re talking about how, in some cases, our passion for nature can actually end up doing more harm than good to the cause of conservation. Some of the world’s problems are so obvious, like pollution and poaching, that we end up missing what’s right under our nose.

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For those that love history as well as the outdoors, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, located along the Delaware coast, is a birder’s paradise. The refuge also features a pre-revolutionary war farmhouse on the National Register of Historic Places. Saltwater marshes at the refuge are first-rate habitats for many migratory birds that stop in Delaware Bay on their journey along the Atlantic Flyway.

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Forget diamonds. Nothing says forever like a 6 million year old mountain range. Ever evocative of enduring beauty, mystery, discovery, and commitment, it’s no wonder that national parks and public lands play setting to some of the most cheek-dampening marriage proposals and wedding ceremonies that you’re ever likely to see.

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