Big Bend Conservancy
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I am not aware of any part of Big Bend being officially designated as wilderness, although I understand parts of it have been nominated. Kind of a stretch using that word IMHO.
Yikes. Can designated wilderness be more tightly controlled than zones?
I googled the term "zone camping" and BIBE was the first national park to come up. Other NPs don't usually use this term to refer backcountry camping at unreserved sites. I actually recall being briefly perplexed by the term when I was planning my first trip. Perhaps the park is simply trying to use a term that is more intuitive to visitors, although in that case they should use the term consistently.
The considerations for the official designation of wilderness areas is more the requirement that no mechanical conveyances can be used within it and less on how developed it was before designation. Because of the plethora of roads, paved or otherwise, open to vehicles in BIBE, there's actually not that much contiguous land that could be designated as wilderness in the park, and in practical terms it isn't really worth it given that the NPS can by regulation manage the land as such.
The practice of ongoing closure or restricted access to wilderness areas in the name of preservation should be viewed by the public with deepest skepticism.
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