The threats to our wilderness range from littering to unchecked development and drilling in our nation’s wild places.

While wilderness designation provides the highest level of protection available to public lands, it does not provide sanctuary from threats that can diminish wilderness character. Although surveys exploring the trade-offs the public is willing to make for wilderness suggest that Australian’s are willing to accept higher costs for electricity, fuel, and other consumer products to protect wilderness, a variety of social, political and environmental forces both inside and outside wilderness can affect wilderness. The demand for economic development and a growing population exert significant pressures on our wilderness.

Many of these pressures are the same threats that other public lands face: Overuse, Technology, Fire Suppression, Invasive Species, Disease, Pollution, Lack of Public Awareness.


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“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.”

David Attenborough

“Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with its surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed, and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You are a plague.”

Agent Smith, The Matrix