The wilderness has been 'trammeled'

  It appears that just about any place can qualify as wilderness these days if the political will is there to make it so. This certainly is the case for the Jerry Peak area in Idaho.

The truly beautiful picture accompanying the Aug. 21 article, "Wilderness cliffhanger," shows the area as emerald green. Most of the year, though, the view would be yellow-brown and water would be scarce. The picture also does not show the fences and roads. Nor is it mentioned that the area has been grazed by livestock as well as by antelope and mule deer. To my eye, it is no different from other expanses of BLM rangeland common throughout the West that have never been considered for wilderness designation. Many of these are more scenic than the Jerry Peak area. This country, which shows plainly the stamp of long-term human use, is not wilderness in any sense most of us would use. Why pretend that it is?

David McIntyre

Idaho Springs, Colorado
High Country News Classifieds