A memorandum of understanding was signed by the four federal land management
agencies that steward wilderness on Aug. 23, recognizing the importance
of the approaching 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act of 1964.
Also attending the ceremony were many citizen wilderness advocacy organizations,
including Warren-based Friends of Allegheny Wilderness. The National
Wilderness Preservation System encompasses 109 million acres
across 44 states and Puerto Rico. Among those is attendance were Kirk Johnson of Warren,
executive director of the Friends of Allegheny Wilderness; Ed Zahniser of
Shepherdstown, W.Va., and son of Tionesta native and Wilderness Act author
Howard Zahniser; and Leanne Marten, former supervisor of the Allegheny
National Forest and now the U.S. Forest Service's national director for
Wilderness and Wild & Scenic Rivers.