To the Editor:
To find the true image of a country, it has been said, one must look at its wilderness.
To have wilderness, a country must acknowledge that some areas are better left untouched by man and have value and meaning to its citizens.
Wilderness offers us a temporary respite from civilization. It allows oneself, if he or she believes, to immerse into God’s creation, to see what we have fought against from the beginning of civilization.
From the outset, our country used our valuable natural resources to become the great country that it is. To preserve wilderness to is to acknowledge where we came from, not just as humans, but also as a country.
Now that we have the luxuries of modern civilization, our impact is significant, to say the least.
We blow up the top of mountains to reach the coal that turn our lights on, and we turn massive areas of southern forest into a single species of tree for cheap furniture found at the mall. It takes a strong, educated, and powerful country to leave its wilderness alone.
The Federal Wilderness Act of 1964 allowed the government to set aside land owned by the Federal government held by public trust, so they would not feel our impact. In Maryland, we have only state owned land worthy of such protection, and they are part of the Maryland Wildlands system.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources has proposed adding several thousand acres worthy of such protection, many located in Garrett and Allegany counties. These untouched areas will be set aside permanently for future generations, who can lightly use these wildlands by participating in such activities as hiking, horseback riding, and hunting.
The citizens of Western Maryland need to voice their support with public comments to the DNR by Dec. 9.
To learn more, go to www.maryland.gov, enter Wildlands in the search window, and click on the first search result that appears. You’ll see information on the new Wildlands in the upper right corner of the website.