A symposium marking the 50th anniversary of the federal Wilderness Act’s passage will be held on Friday, Oct. 10, at Northern Michigan University. It runs from 1-5 p.m. in Mead Auditorium in the West Science Building. The event will include presentations by several agencies that manage federally designated wilderness and other wild lands in Michigan, a panel discussion with all representatives on the challenges facing wilderness in the 21st century and displays outside the auditorium. The symposium is sponsored by the departments of biology and earth, environmental and geographical sciences (EEGS). It is free and open to the public.
“Michigan’s wild areas have a tremendous amount to offer,” said John Rebers, head of the biology department. “I hope everyone can come to celebrate and learn about these special places. In addition to providing outstanding recreational opportunities, wilderness areas have ecological and scientific benefits, particularly by helping to protect biological diversity.”
Susy Ziegler, head of EEGS, added, “We are excited about this opportunity for our students and community members to hear from representatives of agencies that help protect wilderness areas that are unique to our region.”
Participating agencies include the Ottawa and Hiawatha National Forests, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Seney National Wildlife Refuge, Isle Royale National Park and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
The act passed by Congress in 1964 designates as wilderness those lands “where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man; where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”