Creating A Centralized Collection Of Information About Our Nation's Wilderness

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Section One In 1995 with the emergence of the Internet as a powerful tool that was clearly here to stay, a project began to create a centralized collection of information about our nation’s wilderness. Before the proposal of the Wilderness Information Network, information on the wilderness was spread across multiple sites controlled by different branches of the government that held relevant information. The Wilderness Information Network (WIN) sought to unite the information in a way that the general public, wilderness visitors, scientists, managers, educators, legislators, and government agents would all be able to make productive use of the available information, which would be provided by the National Park Service, Bureau of Land…show more content…
However, the Park Service’s representative on the steering committee for the project, found this to be duplicative. The representative, Wes Henry, believed that any information sought by the WIN was available through Park.Net, the National Park Service’s (NPS) operational webpage. He believed that the WIN would be placing extra burden on Park managers, seeking the extra effort in an attempt to gain irrelevant or ill thought out information. This begs the question: How could the WIN move forward without the NPS, which oversaw 42%, the greatest percentage under a single agency, of wilderness land? The key actors in the problem on the WIN would be the government agencies comprising the steering committee and their representatives, and while three institutions in Missoula, MT served as the driving force behind the project (the University of Montana, the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute and the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center), they were a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System that was made up of the four federal agencies. The steering committee included Wes Henry of the National Park Service, Jeff Jarvis of the Bureau of Land Management, Peter Jerome of the Fish and Wildlife Service, and Jerry Stokes of the US Forest Service. This committee served as the closest thing to a directing force for the
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