In Mr. Myers’ letter (Nov. 5) disapproving of the proposed Wilderness designation for the Scotchman Peaks, he stated that there are many Bonner County residents who feel as he does. I am certain that he is absolutely correct on this point, since I am unable to think of anything in this county, or in fact this country, where we all agree.
I, however, disagree with several other of Mr. Myers points. The value of the entire Scotchmans proposed wilderness far exceeds just the beauty and views from the Peak—it is the wild character of an ecologically intact place, including flora, fauna (including those overly-friendly mountain goats), alpine lakes, and places for quiet solitude (yes, there are plenty to be found).
Perhaps it is less the publicity of the designation effort that is causing the crowds on the Peak (as Mr. Myers states), as it is an indication of our real and ever-increasing human need for these places where we can reconnect with Nature.
Mr. Myers also states that since there are unreclaimed roads (which, by the way, are well on their way to disappearing on their own) and some old clear-cuts (which are quite small) in the proposed area, that these disqualify the Scotchman Peaks from designation per the Wilderness Act. Yes, the Act calls for an area “untrammeled by man,” but if one reads further, it also goes on to account for some preexisting human disturbance i.e. “without permanent improvements … affected primarily by the forces of nature … imprint of man’s work substantially unnoticeable…”
The Wilderness Act, now over 50 years old, has bestowed upon us all the places where we, as well as future generations, can experience “land retaining its primeval character and influence.”
As E. O. Wilson notes; “Wild environments …we really need them, because it’s home.”