"In Wildness is the preservation of the World." Henry David Thoreau, "Walking"
"A wilderness in contrast with those areas where man and his works dominate
the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community
of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does
not remain." Wilderness Act, 1964.
"Historians believe that one of the most distinguishing characteristics
of American culture is the fact that it emerged from a wilderness in less
than four centuries." Roderick Nash, "The Value of Wilderness," Environmental Review (1977), p. 14.
"We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills,
and winding streams with tangled growth, as 'wild.' Only to the white man
was nature a "wilderness" and only to him was the land 'infested' with
'wild' animals and 'savage' people." Chief [Luther] Standing Bear, Land of the Spotted Eagle (1933), p. xix.
"Upon close scrutiny, the simple, popular wilderness idea dissolves before
one's gaze. . . . The definition enshrines a bifurcation of man and nature.
. . . Second, the popular wilderness idea is ethnocentric. . . . Nash
. . . skates rapidly over American Indian complaints that the very concept
of wilderness is a racist idea. . . ." J. Baird Callicott, "The Wilderness
Idea Revisited," The Environmental Professional, 13 (1991): 236-7.
"We mistake ourselves when we suppose that wilderness can be the solution
to our culture's problematic relationships with the nonhuman world, for
wilderness is itself no small part of the problem." William Cronon, "The
Trouble with Wildernsss, or Getting back to the Wrong Nature" in Cronon,
ed., Uncommon Ground, 1995, p. 70.
"The root for "wilderness' in Old English is wil-deor-ness: self-willed
land. Self-willed land has fire, storm, and ecosystem change. It has wild
beasts who don't cotton to being pushed around by puny hominids." . . .
"No other challenge calls for self-restraint, generosity, and humility
more than Wilderness preservation." Dave Forman, "Wilderness Areas for
Real" (1998), in Callicott, ed., The Great New Wilderness Debate, pp. 405,
"According to the dictates of the imperium, which claims total control,
wildness must be, or at least must seem to be brought into the system,
brought under the rule of law. . . . Reformist factotums follow a subtle
strategy of 'cooptation' or appropriation, through making a place for wildness
within the imperial order and putting wildness in this place. The
place that is made is the prison, or the asylum. When this place
is made and wildness is incarcerated in it, the imperium is completed."
Thomas H. Birch, "The Incarceration of Wildness: Wilderness areas
as Prisons" (1990), in Callicott, ed., The Great New Wilderness Debate,
"Within the Western tradition the idea of wilderness is closely linked
to its function as a salve for a spiritually battered workforce. . . .
Nature was reorganized so as to meet the spatial, economic, and psychological
needs of capitalism." Carl Talbot, "The Wilderness Narrative and the Cultural
Logic of Capitalism" (1998), in Callicott, ed., The Great New Wilderness
Debate, p. 326.
"Defining our wilderness experience as a quest for the presence of wild
nature, not the absence of humans, creates conceptual space for the interwoven
continuum of nature and culture, and for that recognition of the presence
of the wild . . . both in wilderness and in places closer to home. . . .
This may be what we need to help us end the opposition between culture
and nature, the garden and the wilderness, and to come to recognize ourselves
at last as at home in both." Val Plumwood, "Wilderness Skepticism and Wilderness
Dualism" (1998), in Callicott, ed., The Great New Wilderness Debate, p. 684.