wilderness preservation

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The Hoodoo Mountains Wilderness Study Area - 80 miles east of Missoula, Montana - features dense forests of fir, lodgepole and pine with some open meadows and riparian areas that attract elk and moose. Its highest point Old Baldy Mountain reaches 7,511 feet. BLM manages much of the surrounding Garnet Range, including a second Wilderness Study Area (Wales Creek) and the popular Garnet Ghost Town. Perfect for the history buff and nature lover! #SeeBLM

Photos by Bob Wick, BLM.

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Want solitude on your #mypublicandsroadtrip?

How about southeast Washington sand dunes, old growth juniper trees and a beautiful sunrise…or sunset!

Congress designated the Juniper Dunes Wilderness in 1984, and it now has a total of 6,869 acres. The wilderness preserves the northernmost growth of western juniper, some of which have been around for 150 years, along with windswept sand dunes measuring 130 feet in height and 1,000 feet in width.

Other than junipers, no trees grow in significant numbers here, but many bushes and flowers bloom wondrously come spring, although the mountains that separate western and eastern Washington generally wring the moisture from the air.

The landscape here takes quite a battering, in fact, with strong southwest winds to build the dunes, 7 to 8 inches of precipitation to moisten them, a foot or so of snow that drifts down in winter, and summer temperatures that occasionally rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Elevations range from 750 feet to 1,130 feet above sea level. Plenty of animals thrive despite the extremes: from mule deer, bobcats and coyotes to porcupines and kangaroo rats to beautiful hawks, owls, quail and pheasants.

“Psychologically, Jews have the toughest life force. When transplanted into impossible conditions, they took sides with all the instincts of decadence, and they did this freely out of the most profoundly shrewd sense of self-preservation, not because they were dominated by these instincts, but rather because they sense that these instincts had a power that could be used to prevail against the world.”

—F. Nietzsche, The Anti-Christ, §24 (edited excerpt).

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Favorite Film:

Bom Yeoreum Gaeul Gyeoul Geurigo Bom
(Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and…Spring)
Director: Ki-Duk Kim

”Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring” is an exquisitely simple movie. Written and directed by Kim Ki Duk, it was filmed at a single location — a remote and picturesque mountain lake in a South Korean wilderness preserve — and it concentrates on the relationship between a Buddhist monk and his young protégé, characters whose names are never spoken. But like Blake’s ”Songs of Innocence and Experience,” the film’s lyrical plainness is the sign of a profound and sophisticated artistic sensibility. In five sharp, concise vignettes that correspond to the seasons of the title, Mr. Kim manages to isolate something essential about human nature and at the same time, even more astonishingly, to comprehend the scope of human experience” -NY Times

On this day in 1901, Theodore Roosevelt became the 26th President of the United States. 

While Roosevelt was visiting the Adirondacks, President McKinley was shot and died eight days later. A hasty inauguration ceremony for Roosevelt was held in Buffalo, New York. In his first address to Congress on December 3, Roosevelt insisted that government should preserve wilderness and natural resources “for the use and benefit of our people as a whole.” 

Learn more about Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy as the Conservation President.

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Find your #weekendinspiration along the backroads of Wyoming! #mypubliclandsroadtrip 

The Red Gulch/Alkali National Backcountry Byway is a 32-mile scenic drive on improved gravel and dirt roads through the foothills of the beautiful Bighorn Mountains. Near each of the two entrances to this historic route, you’ll see a National Backcountry Byway kiosk which provides historical information about the byway as well as road conditions.

Along the byway, day hike or backpack into one of three areas nominated for the National Wilderness Preservation System: Alkali Creek, Medicine Lodge and Trapper Canyon. The Alkali and Red Gulch roads serve as boundaries for the Alkali Creek Wilderness Study Area, known for its fascinating rock formations.  Trapper Creek Wilderness Study Area lies a few miles north of the Alkali/Red Gulch intersection and offers an impressive view into Trapper Canyon. This is one of the most spectacular canyons on the western slope of the Bighorn Mountains. (Note: Actual access into Trapper Canyon is difficult and permission to cross privately-owned land is necessary.)  Add superb fishing to your hike in the dramatic Medicine Lodge Canyon, a part of the Medicine Lodge Wilderness Study Area.

Follow all roadtrip stops along backroads and byways with our interactive map journal:  http://mypubliclands.tumblr.com/roadtriptakethebackroads.