Benefits of Wilderness
In the 1950s and 1960s, public concern over pollution and the exhaustion of our natural resources grew exponentially. This movement resulted in the Wilderness Act of 1964, which sought to protect our nation's wild lands. In preserving these lands, the Wilderness Act also preserves the benefits wildernesses provide.
Watersheds and Air Quality
Many wilderness areas, including Lassen Volcanic Wilderness, contain the headwaters for our rivers and streams. These wilderness areas ensure our watersheds are protected and provide a supply of clean water. Forested wilderness areas also help clean our air.
Biodiversity and Ecosystem Health
Wilderness preserves natural ecosystems, which maintain species diversity and ensures that ecosystems remain unmanipulated, or untrammeled, by man. Plants and animals live free with little to no influence of humans.
Wilderness provides unique opportunities for medical and scientific research, work that has aided the development of life-saving drugs, provided insight into possible life on other planets, and informed predictions on climate change. Research on the volcanic and geothermal features within Lassen Volcanic Wilderness help the U.S. Geological Survey refine their ability to predict seismic events, including volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
From Native Americans to pioneers, wilderness has deeply affected our unique American culture. It provides many opportunities to discover, relive, and study our cultural heritage. Hike the Nobles Emigrant Trail through the Lassen Volcanic Wilderness, and imagine the hardship and beauty that our early pioneers faced while expanding westward.
Wilderness areas enable visitors to experience the scenic beauty, challenge, risk, reward, and solitude of land untouched by modern society. In wilderness, one can connect with one's "wild side" and escape from it all. Discover your inner and outer strength by hiking to the top of Cinder Cone.
More than 12 million people visit wilderness areas each year. Such visits enable wilderness areas to support local and regional economies.