On September 3, 2014, the National Wilderness Preservation System—established and protected by the Wilderness Act of 1964—celebrates its 50th anniversary. We are gathering on September 4th and 5th to celebrate Wilderness—“ornery old wilderness, scratchy, sweaty, and distant, but sacred every step of the way”—and to commemorate the great law so central to its protection.
This is not an ordinary conference, full of dry presentations or heated policy debates. Instead, this will be a full-throated love song to wild country. We have brought together some of the most inspiring, insightful, and compelling Wilderness luminaries: writers, storytellers, advocates, historians, educators, photographers, and other admirers. The most important invitee of all will be the public—those who make wilderness an important part of their lives, and those who simply take comfort in its existence.
Our goal will be to tell the story of the Wilderness movement over the course of the last 50 years, to rearticulate the ethos of the Wilderness community in light of that history, and to take a short moment to reflect on and appreciate the progress that has been made.