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Wilderness area

From Academic Kids

Broadly, a wilderness area is a region where the land is left in a state where human modifications are minimal; that is, as a wilderness. It might also be called a wild or natural area. Especially in some wealthier, industrialized nations, it has a more specific land-use meaning as well, as land where development is prohibited by law. Many nations have designated wilderness areas, including South Africa, New Zealand and the United States.

The World Conservation Union (IUCN) classifies wilderness at two levels, Ia (Strict Nature Preserves) and Ib (Wilderness areas).

Most scientists and conservationists agree that there is no place on earth that is completely untouched by humanity, either due to past occupation by indigenous people, or through global processes such as climate change. Activities on the margins of specific wilderness areas, such as fire suppression and the interruption of animal migration also affect the interior of wildernesses.

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Wilderness areas by country

New Zealand

There are seven wilderness areas in New Zealand as defined by the National Parks Act 1980 that fall well within the IUCN definition. Wilderness areas cannot have any human intervention and can only have indigenous species re-introduced into the area if it is compatable with conservation management strategies.

United States

Main article: U.S. Wilderness Area

In the United States, a wilderness area is an area within federal lands which is set aside by statute as a nature preserve. Human activities in wilderness areas are restricted to scientific study, hiking and camping; horses are permitted but motorized vehicles and equipment are not.

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