"May the Peace of the Wilderness be with you"
Rumor has it - When God takes a vacation, he goes to a Colorado Wilderness!
"In order to assure that an increasing population, accompanied by expanding settlement and growing mechanization, does not occupy and modify all areas within the United States...leaving no lands designated for preservation and protection in their natural condition, it is hereby declared to be the policy of the Congress to secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness."
This federal law, which was enacted on September 3, 1964, represented a sea of change in the American mentality. For almost four centuries, the United States touted a philosophy of "conquering the wilderness", but this act committed America instead to preserving the wilderness. Certain public lands are off-limits to mechanized vehicles and industrial consumption; just because we could tear up the landscape doesn't mean that we should! The underlying concept - of humans consciously showing self-restraint to preserve nature - is imperative if we are to fix the many other environmental woes still facing our planet.
Initially, Colorado just got a handful of designated wilderness areas: the Maroon Bells near Aspen, Mount Zirkel near Steamboat Springs, La Garita near Gunnison and the Rawah west of Fort collins. But since the 1964 Wilderness Act, Congress has added to the nation's wilderness system several times, including scattered areas in Colorado in 1975, 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1993.
However, only a fraction of all public land in the entire country, including Colorado, is official wilderness; most federal property remains open to motorized traffic and resource extraction. A political battle still rages over pending proposals to give wilderness protection to Colorado's spectacular desert canyons, some river ecosystems, and the few remaining uncut or "virgin" forests.
If you have any information regarding these old pictures, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org These pictures were discovered in Meeker, but no one seems to know who these people might be or what kind of activities they were actually into.
We're always looking for old (before) and new (after) photos of all of Colorado's Wilderness Areas.