Wilderness and Water

by Cynthia Wilkerson, The Wilderness Society


Wondering why Wilderness Designation is part of the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan?

We all know that healthy lands produce healthy waters, but a new report by The Wilderness Society looks specifically at the relationship between Wilderness and watershed health.

The bottom line is that Wilderness areas are the healthiest watersheds of all Forest Service lands.

The report found a striking correspondence between watershed health and protected lands. Specifically, 80 percent of the Wilderness land is located in the healthiest watersheds, while 18 percent is in moderately healthy watersheds. The Roadless Areas came in second place, with 64 percent of the land in the healthiest watersheds. The remaining national forest lands were a distant third, with just 38 percent in top watershed condition.

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