Kestrel High School Program 2013 - Wilderness

State: Colorado
Region: Elk Mountain Range

EcoFlight’s student flights in 2013 focused on the multiple designations of wild land protections that exist in today’s era, and the threats that wilderness quality lands are facing in the West. With a special look forward to the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act in 2014, a uniquely American idea that wilderness is part of our heritage and a legacy to be passed on to our children, EcoFlight helped facilitate a student photo contest focusing on Wilderness. Selected high school students were joined by a professional photographer for the aerial perspective of designated Wilderness in the Elk Mountains, and coaching on photography, which they submitted into the contest.

Students also discussed the importance of the Wilderness Act and other protective designations.

Since the passage of the Wilderness Act nearly 50 years ago, citizens and conservationists have set aside some of the nation’s most untrammeled landscapes to protect them for their iconic beauty, their religious, cultural, scientific and intrinsic values, opportunities for solitude and the ecosystem services they provide.

Some wild lands have since been given other protective designations like National Conservation Areas, Special Management Areas, National Monuments, or no designation at all. Different administrative and legislative designations can protect wild lands from the negative effects of over-development, over-use, pollution and habitat loss.