Understanding the importance of undeveloped lands in their natural state is crucial for preserving our planet’s biodiversity. These areas, often called wilderness or wildlands, are essential for sustaining various ecosystems and providing habitat to multiple species. They also offer recreational opportunities and help protect against floods, droughts, fires, and other environmental disasters. Here are six facts about these precious resources that everyone should know:
1. Wilderness Areas Make up Around 13% of Earth’s Land Surface Area
Wilderness areas are vital to our planet’s ecosystems and comprise around 13% of the earth’s land surface area. This raw land, often called wildland or wilderness, is vital for preserving species diversity and maintaining healthy ecosystem functions. They also provide recreational opportunities and help protect against floods, droughts, fires, and other environmental disasters.
The preservation of these precious resources is essential for sustaining life on Earth. This is why organizations like the World Wide Fund for Nature and the Wilderness Society work hard to protect these areas from human development. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has identified three categories of the wilderness: Primary Wilderness, Secondary Wilderness, and Tertiary Wilderness. These categories are based on each area’s degree of human impact or disturbance.
2. The United States Has More Than 700 Million Acres of Public Lands
The United States is home to more than 700 million acres of public lands, making it one of the largest conservation areas in the world. These wildlands provide habitat for various species and offer recreational opportunities such as camping, fishing, hiking, biking, and hunting. They also help protect against floods, droughts, fires, and other environmental disasters.
For example, the Grand Canyon National Park contains some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the United States. It provides a habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals, including bighorn sheep, mule deer, coyotes, bald eagles, and more. The national park is an important watershed for Grand Canyon River rafting trips and offers stunning canyon views from its many trails.
3. Canada Has Over 300 Million Acres of Protected Lands
Canada is home to over 300 million acres of protected land, making it one of the largest conservation areas in the world. The Canadian government has been working hard to protect these wilderness areas and ensure they remain natural. These wildlands provide a habitat for various species, including woodland caribou, grizzly bears, and wolves. They also help prevent floods, droughts, fires, and other environmental disasters by acting as a buffer against development in surrounding areas.
The Canadian government is committed to protecting these precious resources and offers various programs to support conservation efforts. For example, the Canada Conservation Fund helps fund research and conservation projects in different national parks and other protected areas. At the same time, the Private Landowner Stewardship Program provides funding to private landowners working to protect their land from development.
4. Wilderness Areas Help Support Biodiversity
Wilderness areas provide habitat for many species of plants and animals, which helps support biodiversity. This is why protecting these precious resources from human development is so essential. Wilderness areas also provide clean air and water, help regulate the climate, and protect against floods, droughts, fires, and other environmental disasters.
By biodiversity, we mean the variety of life on Earth, which includes plants, animals, fungi, and microorganisms. Diversity is important because it helps create a healthy natural balance and ensures that ecosystems remain functional and stable. Certain species would become extinct without biodiversity, and entire ecosystems could collapse.
5. Wilderness Areas Are Great for Recreation
These areas offer a variety of recreational activities such as camping, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, fishing, and more. They also provide stunning views of natural landscapes and a chance to observe wildlife in its natural habitat.
For example, the Adirondack Park in New York is one of the oldest protected areas in the United States and offers visitors a chance to explore its vast wilderness. The park is home to various species of plants and animals and provides many recreational opportunities, including hiking, canoeing, fishing, hunting, and more.
6. Protecting Wilderness Areas Is Essential
Undeveloped areas are essential for the health of our planet and its inhabitants. They provide clean air and water, help regulate the climate, support biodiversity, and offer recreational opportunities. That is why protecting these precious resources from human development is so essential.
The best way to do this is by supporting conservation efforts, such as those offered through the Canada Conservation Fund and the Private Landowner Stewardship Program. Every bit helps to ensure that these areas remain natural and provide a safe home for plants, animals, and all of us.
Wilderness areas are essential in preserving biodiversity and providing clean air, water, and natural resources. Unfortunately, these wildlands are being degraded or destroyed due to human activities. We must protect and conserve these valuable resources for future generations. Only then can we ensure the survival of our planet and its many diverse species.