Certified Wilderness in Europe reaches 313,993 ha

The European Wilderness Preservation System consists of audited Wilderness across Europe. The European Wilderness Society have been ranking wilderness based on the European Wilderness Quality Standard and have just broken through the 300,000 ha barrier with the addition of the Hohe Tauern Wilderness, the Kalkalpen Wilderness, and the Zacharovanyy Kray Wilderness in 2016. More information and map.


Chernobyl to become UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

The European Wilderness Society posted that thirty years after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster the president of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, has signed a declaration to designate 226,964 ha of the state-owned area as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Since the nuclear meltdown the area has been devoid of humans as it is classified as an exclusion zone, but the flora and fauna have flourished. Many of which are unique. Read more here.

New Wilderness Area in US: The Boulder-White Clouds

Posted August 1, 2015.

On same spot_Norton

Photo by Boyd Norton taken in 1969 at the precise spot where the mile-long open pit mine was planned.
More than 275,000 acres at the heart of the Boulder-White Clouds area in Idaho will be designated as a Wilderness Area – the largest number of acres designated as wilderness in the US since 2009 – with the passing of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area and Jerry Peak Wilderness Additions Act. Nearly fifty years ago ILCW member Boyd Norton and a few other lovers of the Idaho wilderness formed the Greater Sawtooth Preservation Council to stop a mine that American Smelting and Refining Company was proposing in the beautiful Idaho mountains. There have been ardent supporters then and since, that have worked very hard to bring this area into Wilderness designation including Cecil Andres, the Idaho Conservation League, Sierra Club, the newspapers across Idaho, Our Wild America, ILCW member Doug Scott, Edwina Allen, Senator Jim Risch, Congressman Mike Simpson, and many others. Congressman Simpson was particularly firm in letting the White House know that “National Monument” status would not be acceptable as it would not offer the same permanent protection as a Wilderness Area designation. For more information: Scotchman Peaks and Idaho Statesman.

Boyd Norton who took the photo of this beautiful area (above) writes:
“It was 47 years ago when several of us formed the Greater Sawtooth Preservation Council in Idaho Falls, Idaho to stop a major open pit mine in the White Cloud Mountains near the Sawtooth Range in central Idaho. We stopped the mine but it took almost 50 years to get the White Clouds protected as a wilderness area. The bill passed the final hurdle August 4 in the Senate and 275,000 acres are now protected as a wilderness area. Though I was involved for several years testifying at hearings and writing articles about the place, it was really my Idaho colleagues who kept at it – Jerry Jayne, Russ Brown, the late Ernie Day, the Idaho Environmental Council, the folks at the Idaho Conservation League, the Sierra Club and many individuals. We owe them the vote of thanks for persevering. This photo was made in 1969 at the precise spot where a mile long open pit mine was planned. Lesson: never give up.”