The Wilderness Act Reprise

Half Dome – Yosemite Musing

So just where does the Wilderness begin in Yosemite? A lot of “developed” places were grandfathered in when the Act was put into law in 1964. Remember, wilderness is a place without permanent structures . . . an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man.  So explain the High Sierra Camps. Explain the buildings in Tuolumne. Been a lot of trammeling going on there. And what makes a building  “permanent.” Are outhouses permanent? Makes one ponder.  These are not arbitrary boundaries – nay, the act further says that records pertaining to said wilderness areas, including maps and legal descriptions, be available to the public, One easy gauge is if you need a Wilderness Permit to camp in an area. There are 5 Wilderness areas that are managed via permits. They are grouped under: Wawona and Glacier Point Road, Tuolumne, Hetch Hetchy, Tioga Road and Yosemite Valley (including the popular Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley trail for those doing the Half Dome hike.) By the way, Yosemite is surrounded by Wilderness – the Ansel Adams Wilderness to the southeast, the Hoover Wilderness to the northeast, and the Emigrant Wilderness to the north. Plus, all told, the Sierra Nevada has 22 wilderness areas that cover 6000 square miles. Tons of room to find solitude.


Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Many a man would face his gun, and many a man would fall. The man who shot Liberty Valance, he shot Liberty Valance. He was the bravest of them all.” – Gene Pitney


*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


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