CLC Develops Model Indiana Wilderness Act Legislation

The Indiana Forest Alliance, with the support of State Senator Mark Stoops, requested that the CLC prepare model legislation for an Indiana Wilderness Act. The CLC drafted a bill that would require the department of natural resources to identify large, remote forested tracts of state-owned land and, in appropriate cases, to recommend such areas to the natural resources commission for designation as state wilderness areas. As defined in the bill, a wilderness area should be a tract of relatively undeveloped state land of at least 1,000 acres that has retained in significant part its natural forested character, and that presents outstanding opportunities for recreational activities such as hiking or camping. State wilderness areas would be administered and managed so as to preserve the wild character of the land, and any activities deemed incompatible with the protection of wilderness characteristics would be prohibited. The model legislation presents an opportunity for Indiana to preserve large wild tracts of land for the benefit of present and future generations.