The Rocky Mountains are home to millions of acres of wilderness and other protected areas. Wilderness has a variety of functions, including providing opportunities for solitude and primitive and unconfined forms of recreation, preservation of biological diversity, and opportunities for research in relatively undisturbed ecosystems. However, wilderness often is controversial, and study of it and its uses and the study of conflicts surrounding it are important. Knowledgeable managers and citizens are needed to sustain wilderness and its many values.
Research and education related to wilderness ecosystems and values occur at the interagency Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute and Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, and the wilderness centers at the universities of Idaho and Montana. The RM-CESU offers the expertise of these partners in providing the science, education, and training necessary for wilderness stewardship, both regionally and nationally.