Forest Service Asks Students for Writings About Wilderness

Forest Service accepting writings through Sept. 4

By Beacon Staff

The U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region encourages all students to submit their personal reflections about Wilderness – whether it is a 140 character ‘tweet’ or the maximum length of 500 words.

Through Sept. 4, the Forest Service is accepting the writings of students who wish to participate in the Forest Service’s Wilderness Writings Challenge.  The challenge is hosted by the Forest Service’s Northern Region as part of a national celebration of the passage of the Wilderness Act 50 years ago by Congress.

The challenge is open to all students.  Submit your writings online at the Forest Service’s Northern Region website, www.fs.usda.gov/r1 where you will find the rules of engagement. Hard copy submissions can be delivered to US Forest Service, attn.: Wilderness-50 Writings, 200 East Broadway, Missoula, MT 59802.

Essays are to be typed; if not typed, then printed in a neat and legible hand.  Format can vary widely from tweet size (140 characters) to essays or poems using a maximum of 500 words.  Deadline is Sept. 4, 2014.

“Entries could be in the form of a poem, a tweet, a diary entry, a letter, a formal essay or whatever works for you,” Steve Kimball, manager for the US Forest Service’s wilderness program in the Northern Region, said. “We want to hear from students of all ages what they think of Wilderness.”

The first 50 writers to submit will receive a poster created by Monte Dolack which commemorates the Wilderness Act’s 50th anniversary.

On Sept. 20 the Forest Service will sponsor a celebration from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Missoula’s new Silver Park with music by Jack Gladstone and forest-oriented demonstrations. Selected writers can read aloud their submissions starting at 2:30 p.m.  Silver Park is behind the Osprey Stadium abutting the Clark Fork River.

Many local Wilderness-50th celebrations are listed on the Forest Service’s website at www.fs.usda.gov/r1or you can find a nationwide list at www.wilderness50th.org

“The future of wilderness belongs to you,” Faye Krueger, Regional Forester for the Northern Region of the U.S. Forest Service said. “America’s wilderness legacy is yours because our public lands are yours. Keep that in mind as you write.  From your point of view, tell us why Wilderness is important to you.”