The Cotton Lake Wilderness
A Wild Proposal
Wilderness is a place where man is a visitor who does not remain. It is a place where people go to remove themselves, however temporarily, from the stresses and mediocrity of everyday living. It is a place of sensuous beauty. A day of vigorous exercise in the wilderness stimulates the mind, the body, and all five senses. In the wilderness we take ownership of our lives. We provide our own shelter, cook our own meals, tell our own stories. Wilderness is part of our culture.
However, several deserving tracts were omitted from the list of protected Wilderness Areas—places that meet all of the guidelines, but were either overlooked or passed over due to other considerations. Without formal protection, these should-be Wilderness Areas remain underappreciated and vulnerable to motorized trail development. The fact that they have survived into the twenty-first century intact is an historical accident. Protecting them as Wilderness will ensure they are henceforth preserved by design.
Wild River Press is proposing that this area be reclassified as the Cotton Lake Wilderness Area, permanently reserving it as a place where people can experience the pleasures of backcountry recreation without the intrusions of motor vehicles. We are working with state officials and conservation groups to make this reclassification happen.
In the meantime, if you are a resident of the Oneida-Herkimer County region, you can demonstrate YOUR support for wilderness preservation by letting your elected officials know that you live locally, work locally, pay taxes locally, AND support the reservation of local public lands for low-impact backcountry recreation.
After all, our proximity to vast expanses of wilderness is part of our region's quality of life.