Researchers say increased residential development near wildlands is beginning to cause problems . . .
Despite heavy development, the U.S. still has millions of acres of pristine wild lands. Coveted for their beauty, these wilderness areas draw innumerable outdoor enthusiasts eager for a taste of primitive nature.
But University of Georgia researchers say these federally protected nature areas have a problem: Their boundaries have become prime real estate.
As the country’s population continues to grow, people have built homes close to national parks, forests and wilderness areas for the same reasons these systems have been left protected from development. However, this construction and growth near the National Wilderness Preservation System is beginning to degrade the quality of these lands and erode biodiversity.