In response to Stan Meyer regarding the creation of Scotchman Creek Wilderness area, there are a few statements which I wish to rebut. Following are the rules regarding Wilderness areas as set forth by the Wilderness Act.
Recreational uses in wilderness include activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, backpacking, camping, nature study, photography, and climbing. Bicycles and other forms of mechanical transport are not allowed in Wilderness Areas, since they are prohibited by the Wilderness Act.
The use of pack horses is allowed bearing in mind you need to be aware of narrow trails when you use large animals.
There is a huge area in Montana known as The Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. It was established in 1964 and encompasses over 1 million acres of land. They have over 1,850 miles of trails for use by hikers as well as horseback riders. It is spectacular and well managed.
There is no danger with regard to rescuing an injured hiker. Vehicles can be used to affect a rescue of a person stranded/injured in a wilderness area and fires can be fought in wilderness areas if necessary to protect adjacent private lands/homes. The current thought is fire is a part of nature’s balance so they may choose not to fight fires if they are not encroaching and endangering people.
All this being said, creating the Scotchman Peak Wilderness Area is a great idea and I am in favor of it.