Elk collared Kevin ProescholdtIn June 2016, the interagency Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute in Missoula, Montana released a draft “decision support tool”—“Supplement to Minimum Requirements Analysis/Decision Guide (MRA/MRDG): Evaluating Proposals for Ecological Intervention in Wilderness,”—to guide managers contemplating ecological intervention management actions in Wilderness. Though intended to require managers to more adequately justify such interventions, the support tool could ultimately make it easier for such interventions to occur. Wilderness Watch responded with detailed comments in September 2016, opposing such manipulations.

 

One of Wilderness Watch's concerns is that the framework for the so-called five qualities of wilderness character found in Keeping It Wild 2—the agencies’ wilderness character monitoring protocol, which the “decision tool” is based upon—is flawed and improperly diminishes the central importance of wildness in wilderness character.

 

Read more. (PDF)

Read a full critique of the KIW2 protocol in the report, “The Definition of Wilderness Character in ‘Keeping It Wild’ Jeopardizes the Wildness of Wilderness” by David Cole, Doug Scott, Ed Zahniser, Roger Kaye, George Nickas, and Kevin Proescholdt. (PDF)

Read WW's comments. (PDF)

 

Photo: Using the flawed KIW2 framework, as one example, the Forest Service recently authorized the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to use helicopters to capture and collar 60 elk in the Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness.

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