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Friday, June 26, 2015

Disturbing the Peace

Action Alert

Disturbing the Peace
One of the scarcest commodities in today's world is quiet. We go to Wilderness to find it. That's one reason why The Wilderness Act, now in its 51st year, mandates nothing motorized within designated Wilderness. It's part of what defines Wilderness.

So we wanted to warn you. Not about ATVs, dirt bikes or other "recreationists," this time. No, it turns out we have to warn you aboutr the Federal agency charged with managing and preserving the highest state of protection of nature on American soil: the overlay of Wilderness and National Park. The National Park Service, who we trust to manage our scarce remaining resource of quiet Wilderness in the core of the North Cascades, has informed us they plan to be running helicopters into two prime areas inside North Cascades National Park 
(NOCA) - the Park Creek drainage, a tributary of the Stehekin River in the south unit of the Park, and Copper Ridge, high country on the west side of the north unit, all on July 1. 

That's next Wednesday. So if you planned to be hiking in either of those areas then, you'll want to change your plans or prepare to be presented with the opening soundtrack of Apocalypse Now. Think that sort of thing is inappropriate in Wilderness? So do we.Please feel free to call the North Cascades National Park offices at 360-854-7200 and tell them your opinion of such things.

In the past, crews with horses did the same work, fixing trails and campsites. Now, somehow, a helicopter has become what NOCA considers the "minimum tool" for the job. Why? Best to ask them yourself. The answers we were given were not very satisfactory, maybe they'll do a better job explaining it to you - and your calls may help discourage them from using them without taking formal public input. You can read more about the situation in the upcoming issue of NCCC's journal, The Wild Cascades, which mails-out next week.