Wilderness Law and Policy (2 credits)
This course will survey the intellectual concept of wilderness and systems of wilderness protection. Its particular focus will be the Wilderness Act of 1964, from the debates over the original wilderness bills to enactment. The student will learn the intricacies of wilderness management under the terms of the 1964 Act and subsequent enactments which added areas to the National Wilderness Preservation System. The management prescriptions and proscriptions under consideration will be through the interpretations of the relevant statutes by the four land management agencies that manage wilderness. The student will also learn about the controversies surrounding proposed wilderness areas and the legal regimes in place to protect those candidate lands (such as roadless areas in National Forests). Time permitting, we will also discuss possible changes to the wilderness system and the Wilderness Act from two perspectives. The first will be from a comparative perspective with readings on state and private wilderness protection in the United States and on foreign and international wilderness protection to provide alternative means to assess the success of the American system. The second will be from the perspective of general academic criticism of the American wilderness ideal, which include negative assessments of the wilderness project from a variety of perspectives.