A Well-Regulated Wilderness

LAST week, seven miles from the nearest road, setting up camp on a hillside looking west toward the blue-gray peaks of the North Cascades in Washington State, I found myself thinking about government.
 
Not that there was much of it in sight. I was hiking with my brother, sons and nephews in the Pasayten Wilderness, 830 square miles of forest and gentle mountains near the Canadian border. Only a decade ago livestock grazed its lush grasses. There were no rangers to check our reservations, no posted rules telling us where and how to set up camp.