Last week’s Flathead Forest Friday was all about the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Chris Peterson of the Hungry Horse News provides the background . . .
In September 1964, the country was in turmoil. There was a growing war in Vietnam, the country was still suffering the effects of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, and there was a growing cultural revolution.
In the midst of this, Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Wilderness Act, which immediately protected 9.1 million acres of lands across the U.S., including the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The area that became the Bob Marshall Wilderness had been administratively-designated as wilderness by the Forest Service in 1940. The Wilderness Act gave it congressional protection.
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the act, and Forest Service officials along with the Bob Marshall Foundation, the National Park Service and other stakeholders are beginning plans for events and celebrations of the birthday.