Law, College of


Date of this Version



Environmental Law 42 (2012), pp. 313-374.


Copyuright (c) 2012 Sandra Zellmer.


As the nation searches for climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, the pressure to develop water resources within wilderness areas and to exploit the timber, forage, wildlife, fish, and other virtually untapped components of wilderness will become more acute. This Article makes the case that managers and legislatures should not yield to this pressure and argues that, if anything, the need to preserve untrammeled wilderness characteristics is just as imperative today as it was in 1964 when the Wilderness Act was passed. The Article examines the potency of the Wilderness Act and a trio of federal water law doctrines—federally reserved water rights, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, and the Clean Water Act—and finds that, while no single one of these doctrines can accomplish the task alone, if implemented in a more complementary fashion, together they can be effective in protecting the wild.