Proceedings of the First Park Naturalists’ Training Conference, November 1 to 30, 1929
THE USE AND ADMINISTRATION OF WILDERNESS RESERVES
By C. A. Harwell and G. C. Ruhle
The establishment of wilderness areas in our national parks is either firmly believed to be a wise proceeding or is looked upon with indifference. Their use is indeed a moot question. It might be wise to let them alone, unused, say for one hundred years, as examples for study of the influences of factors from the outside. Certainly we cannot expect them to remain immutable in a surrounding that is rapidly changing.
Wilderness areas should serve as a refuge for game and wild life, especially such that apparently has no safe retreat elsewhere; for example, mountain lions and wolverenes. How to keep it inviolable to poachers and yet keep out protectors is a nice question.
It certainly is advisable, at least for the time being (say 100 years) to try to keep everyone out of such preserves. Fire control, disease and insect epidemics may cause a rupture of inviolability, but despite these, it is important that they be set aside.
Research (wilderness) areas as such should not be used, hence no internal administration is necessary. To remove as far as possible the external factors, these areas should be in unused portions of the park as far as is feasible.