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The Wilderness Idea

The wilderness idea rose from an individual, and then subsequently collective human idea that observed the natural world and witnessed extraordinary beauties and values. Likewise, also having an understanding that the ambitions of modern humanity were also set on course to eventually eliminate all wilderness like regions, and thus, all the natural beauty on the earth…

Eventually this led to the Wilderness Idea, or the concept that we must preserve some of the land space on earth, in a natural and ecologically intact condition. Lands free from the interference of modern human ambitions, tools, structures, and alterations.

Not all those whom contributed to the wilderness idea could be recorded in history and remembered today, but various examples from the likes of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, to John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and Bob Marshall made well-known and important contributions to the evolution of the American wilderness idea.

     The wilderness idea is a resource in and of itself. Without continued defense of this unique value, an environment with intensifying degradation could lead to escalating conflicts over already strained natural resources, while deepening other negative patterns in human behavior (Long & Biber, 2014). Although the continuance of wildlands unmodified by the will of humanity provides detectable environmental and health benefits for humans and other species, additional far reaching impacts are also credible and perhaps more difficult to measure.


Long, E., & Biber, E. (2014). THE WILDERNESS ACT AND CLIMATE CHANGE. Enviornmental Law. from https://law.lclark.edu/live/files/17160-44-2biberpdf

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