THE CRATER LAKE WILDERNESS PROPOSAL
A presentation on why it is needed for the Climate and how it can serve as an Economic Engine
The many reasons for protecting our few remaining wildlands are varied and various. Wilderness ostensibly is for people, even while it remains the best progenitor of wildlife habitat. Re-creating oneself in the silent landscape removed from the noise and bustle of civilization is something humans need.
Climate Change occurs with more dramatic events each succeeding year and stemming it through sequestration is another function for Wilderness serving humanity. Whether sequestering carbon in large old forests or in undisturbed soils, Wilderness areas sequester at greater measure than any other landscape category. While sequestration keeps the carbon stored, Wilderness also provides for adaptation to the stresses and pressures of Climate Change. Wilderness has a built-in DNA bank, held within its flora and fauna, from microscopic to large plants and animals, that have successfully survived and adapted over a millennium. This is not true of the manufactured forests designed for lumber production. The plantations are composed of seedlings raised in nurseries from disparate genetic backgrounds. Within Wilderness the linkage to the time of the eruption of Mt. Mazama some seven thousand seven hundred years ago is unbroken.
Wilderness and other protected public lands have also served humanity in other ways as well. So little applauded it is not known that these lands serve as economic engines for growth and prosperity within communities in their proximity. The many environmental amenities accrue as people seek out these places to visit and to relocate into, particularly as their jobs are less dependent on specific locations.
This presentation reveals facts about how Wilderness serves its communities of people through economic wealth. While economists continue to explore the value of a carbon market, those figures are in large part not in force, but someday, and soon, they will and our remaining old forests will begin to reflect the immense monetary value of these old forests and landscapes.
A Presentation produced and sponsored by Umpqua Watersheds, Inc. Roseburg