The concept of Wilderness
The concept of Wilderness,
a new need for conservation
areas and natural resources.
"The wilderness is both a geographical condition
that a state of mind "
The preservation of a wilderness for its intrinsic value
"In every place we would like a place, well, left uncultivated" (Cesare Pavese).
"The protection of a natural area can certainly have many roles, many purposes, but I think only one has to be the purpose for which it is to be implemented to preserve the land for its own sake" (Franco Zunino).
Before civilized man did his "appearance" on the ground all over the world was "wilderness", a vast wilderness area, where reigned the natural truth. Then came the civilized man and little by little, he removed himself to the world and the harmony and unpredictable "chaotic" nature of which was the spirit of life. Aldo Leopold wrote (1949): "The wilderness is a resource that may decrease but never increase. The destruction may be blocked or limited in such a way as to make an area more accessible for recreation, or science, or wildlife, but the creation of new wilderness in the true sense of the word is impossible. It follows, then, that any conservation program covering the Wilderness is a defensive action, by which the degradation can be reduced to a minimum ....
The ability to understand the cultural value of wilderness is becoming ultimately a question of intellectual humility. The presumptuous thought of modern man has separated himself from his roots with the earth, and claim to have already discovered what is important: it is those who prattle of empires, political or economic, that will back thousands of years ....".
But let us explain what is the essence of the "concept of wilderness," see why he should be considered a true philosophy from which it generates thought protectionist and, more generally, the very conception of life. Quote in full the praiseworthy words of founder Franco Zunino, as mentioned, the Italian Association for the Wilderness.
"Social development is altering evolving every corner of our land, and also truly wild areas left to chance or such as up to date with no economic interest or can not be used for this purpose, are now being affected every day by new initiatives against them, without ever altering their economic justification to be considered in the second to spiritual, defining these, for brevity, all those things anywhere in the world that you protect the environment.
The few areas without roads and modern buildings remaining are considered to be 'conquered' by civilization, and the offices responsible for planning and its use will plan new forms of exploitation instead of preserving them in their natural state as ecological rarities which they are , as well as Eden to the emotional needs of the individual. No one seems to be more local in social love their land, the landscape in which it was born! Even the recreational use of the environment by citizens is proving to be, especially in National Parks, a last frontier of human achievement, as excessive use of this effect is likely to become more subtle and insidious damage, less striking a street or a residence, less annoying hunting on moral grounds, but as damaging and deteriorating because of all the physical and psychic is contained in the definition of wilderness, that is, 'Wilderness' as is understood in the culture Anglo-Saxon.
Wilderness is a term that may sound obscure to the layman, but whose intrinsic meaning goes far beyond its literal translation, it defines in fact even the dictates of a specific philosophy, which arose out of human needs and enjoyment in emotional contact with the wildlife and conservation of those natural areas where these needs can be expressed.
The 'Concept of Wilderness' is nothing but the definition of this philosophy, a philosophy that sees the relationship between man and nature, a nature that emphasizes mutual respect in cases of conflict of interest, a philosophy whose basis is really the' idea of giving body to environmental assets to leave to posterity, by investing our generations of their responsibility in this sense, that is now to decide the maximum limit beyond which the man and his suggestions do not have to go, to leave a permanent spacethe nature and its wild creatures.
....... We have to prepare public opinion today and tomorrow to understand the spiritual need of our and future generations to enjoy by just knowing that there are still far away places, in the sense of large and wild, places where nature is left to itself as the dawn of life on earth, and guarantees long-term preservation of their evolution in time and take them away from civilization ........
The nature protection associations have too often ignored the needs related to the purely spiritual relationship between man and nature, and so those impacts on human nature by which, while satisfying the needs of social development purely material or purely physical recreation, prevent its their expression, they have underestimated the economic potential destructive force of the spiral of our civilization in its most insidious nuances, as well as those of human needs as an individual. More than a few times that these associations have expressed consensus in favor of certain activities, too superficial or believed necessary educational and therefore compatible with the reasons of conservation, as developed by those who manage protected areas or disseminated and promoted with the aim of improving the relationship with the nature of who actually designed to indirect economic interests (eg camping, hiking, hunting photographic tricks of wildlife management, when realizations of shelters, roads and other structures 'essential'), which are seen in a different in fact the embryo of failures that undermine just what is the 'Concept of Wilderness'. For a lack of foresight, we run the risk of being protectionist us that in the most delicate cases triggered, without power of control, dammed difficult processes a day (and teaches the history of conservation, for those who want to learn!), Aided by the collaboration in this compact the media, for the most favorable economic discourses behind the ever new justifications that allow all''effetto man 'of incandescent kern deeper and deeper in natural environments.
There will come a day when visiting parks need to be programmed, and will be limited to devices to enjoy nature with the inevitable facilities, today more than ever in vogue (and behind which is always the economic spiral): this step trivialize even the most wild, remote and inaccessible of the earth!
Some natural areas are saved only because they have the right to continue to persist over time as they reached us, modified only by the slow evolution of the forces of nature or the primitive man, and then not because they are 'used' by men today as centers of economic production or recreational outlet, ie, in the strict sense of the material. They must exist for themselves instead, nature is to be saved in these areas only for wild fauna and flora, you need to be developed in complete harmony. In these places the man must be to precise limits, beyond which in principle not to allow further and more every slightest action modifier or artificial creations, and must then have the strength and the will to pull back even as a visitor as soon as its presence tends to change the physical, psychological or even what the visitor, which must always enjoy the feeling of loneliness of a relationship with the wilderness.
Of course, this is a difficult choice, but it is the only serious alternative to oppose the fearsome man-made landscape that surrounds us every day and vandalized the natural environment we do when we become tourists or summer Sunday ........ it is time to make this choice of 'use-no use' for the wildest ....... If we do not now due to lack of political courage will be too late for future generations. Anything else we wanted to take them or even physical protection of spiritual values that they, as well, and are enclosed, which will only be a stopgap measure to prevent our generations the responsibility of a choice that is difficult and unpopular knows ..... "
Thoreau said that "in wilderness is the salvation of the world," and said he was convinced that a wild nature helps to know ourselves better, to improve and enhance the society in which we live. The very thought that an area can remain wilderness, wild or "forever", freeing themselves from the presence of man conqueror and subjugated, profoundly affects the sensitivity of a person who has his own spiritual life. As noted above, the concept of Wilderness not only the physical space of an area but also concerns the emotion from which the inner man, alone in front of the wilderness, can be taken. The philosophy of wilderness can then be summarized in one sentence, "The wilderness is both a geographical condition that a state of mind."
Writes Salvatore Veca (1986): "Nature is not a pseudo-person to which humans are responsible for: we are against it for the simple fact that our actions lead to alterations in the biosphere and we can not, or rather, We should no longer be the predators of the biosphere. Obviously, we are part of nature, without having full control of it (we are not responsible for its existence), and yet differ in some essential aspects from other constituents of nature. Unlike other species, it seems that we can change - better or worse - the effects of our actions on nature: this creates a moral responsibility, causal responsibility ....".
As a corollary to that observed on the protection of nature according to the philosophy of wilderness, let us formulate a provocative reflection type: if someone proposed to destroy a great work of art, a museum or a precious Romanesque church would certainly be considered a crazy, but paradoxically it is not considered a fool who decides to destroy ancient woodland to pass a highway or build a sports complex of high mountains, with all the environmental damage that the works involved.
The man was therefore the responsibility to provide for nature conservation because it is the man who destroys it and so is his duty to defend it, unless you want to be thought of as one component of dialectical materialism, which would be given the task of completely subverting the natural environment: this could only be ironic essence of philosophy anthropocentric.
Gary Snyder (1992) masterfully writes: "Thoreau said, 'Give me a wildness no civilization can endure' (Give me a wild world that no civilization can tolerate). Such a thing is not difficult to conceive. It is more difficult to imagine a civilization that the world can tolerate wild. Yet this is precisely what we must try to do. Wildness is not just save the world; wildness is the world. For a long time, Eastern and Western civilizations are on a collision course with the wild and in particular the industrialized countries now have the insane power to destroy not only individual creatures, but whole species, whole processes of the earth. We need a civilization capable of living fully and creatively with the world's wild, be wild with the ..... The wilderness is a place where the wild potential is fully expressed, where a variety of beings, living or not, manifest themselves according to their internal order .....Wilderness means wholeness, entirety. Humans emerge from that totality, and the idea to reaffirm our participation in the assembly of all beings is not a regressive thinking. "
Zunino again writes: ".... who feels the desire for a different relationship with the environment, more tied to the needs of inner beauty and solitude, reflection, enjoyment of beauty, moments of life and the evolving nature more easily understand the need for greater respect, understand that the rights of nature, must have first place and that man is always ready to pull back to visit soon become obvious signs of change that his presence brings, ranging from environmental degradation to the disturbance of wildlife, the loss of certain states of peace and solitude (which are right before our fauna); therefore also ready to give up to nature when it is the case.
Instead, the majority of those who love nature, fauna, flora, and they enjoy physical recreation through it (naturalists, mountain climbers, hikers, hunters, etc..) Rarely pose problems compared to renunciation of one's pleasures to your needs ......... In fact, every category of users to pose natural limits should resign, because there are users and users of dangerous good, and the restriction of freedom all right that allows the compromise to ensure the ability of nature to perpetuate itself in its freedom, because while they are adaptable to our needs, most of the time they are not those of nature .......' Needless to love the Earth, not the pleasures they derive through the use '. E ', unfortunately, almost always the opposite for the vast majority of adherents to the various interest groups, the hunter dall'ornitologo ....".
Zunino wrote again and complete the speech: "The Wilderness Concept is the hypothetical invisible barrier against insurmountable, but the pressures of economic need, and then development of human society, man placed himself in defense of nature, or better to guarantee the its perpetuity. In practice a deliberate renunciation of rights to ensure those of nature. This barrier has been codified for the first time ever in 1964 with a special act of Congress. The areas delimited by this legislative barrier are forever and on principle protected against any proposed amendment to their state of the environment.
Time is now time to begin seriously to fight for the world this concept is applied conservation.
Salvage of the last wilderness on Earth is a priority deferrable, we have too many examples of wild places lost in a few years because they were considered large or resistant to the absence or scarcity of resources or the difficulties of operating profitable businesses. And 'instead because it did not take the slow erosion of land to the great wilderness has evolved with a dramatic exponential growth (the Amazon is the most current) as a result of socio-economic developments unthinkable just a few years ago, and so is for natural resources was discovered in unexpected places, resources, quality and quantity, whose application has reached the summit on world markets (oil, uranium, gas, etc..): and here teaches Antarctica, considered a land barren and desolate and now discovered as an inexhaustible mine of wealth for the whole world! It 'so are the places deemed inaccessible to the technical difficulties to be open pathways: engineering sciences in the last decade have practically solved every technical problem: it is now only a matter of money. If you want to reach civilization by means of roads, dams and buildings of every kind there is no natural barrier that is able to stop or contain the will of man colonizing.
For such a state of things, all based on profit, only one school of thought can oppose effectively. The desire to destroy using colonizing or you can fight only with the opposite intention: to preserve. No utilitarian belief can never take the place in the inner need and moral obligation to preserve something that we love because we feel intimately as our favorite corner from our house.Until you convince us that keeping a place or a region is how to ensure that outsiders respect our material properties (who does not rebel to those who smear the house or the car?), We do not get no law, no action lasting environmental protection: Always accept compromises, compromises that we would consider unacceptable if they were to cover our material possessions. And this is not right. It means that we have not yet reached a social conscience that makes us feel what we all. That is, we will continue to consider what it is all as if it were not for anyone or in any case never ours.
And 'for these reasons rather than serious and lasting ties every day we continue to call on the political establishment of new parks and protected areas just for the satisfaction of these definitions to stamp cartographically limited areas but which have little or Park Reserve and of the nature, accepting labile bonds in order to obtain the simple expressions geographical, indeed, have become the Italian parks, whether national or regional. The 'Parcomania' buckled by hunters there is not a definition to mock the green movement!
The Regional Parks established in recent years, and so many regional and state nature reserves and national parks are designed, are based on so little binding constraints beyond the usually assumed and sometimes futile ban on hunting, very little of defending defined environmental assets such as 'protected areas'.
We run the risk that in the past as was the case for all existing National Parks, you are to lose their best environmental and landscape values after they have been or will be, theoretically, subject to protection! We think such large areas of wilderness were the Gran Paradiso or the Abruzzi or when they are designated in the Stelvio National Parks: 60,000, 30,000 and 70,000 acres of Wilderness! Now that Wilderness has been very little.
Today, such as parks or other reserves ensure that no work or refuge road (not to mention worse!) Be made within their borders after the date of their appointment? Few, if any, in the sense of drive.
Hence the need for a new way of thinking about what conservationist. A current that he discovers and do exactly the Wilderness Concept. It is not a 'Parcomania'. Objective but a choice of places worthy of real protection, separate from those of little environmental value or, worse, with only socio-economic values for which can also be good pseudo constraints of today. A choice, not so much to protect the places to be exploited because of the places to be kept very, biological and psychological necessity, be defended as we defend our gardens, where we spend money to beautify the sole purpose of creating us something nice undisputed to watch and enjoy. Only by taking action and awareness of such an axiom, we will fight to obtain even by the standards we vincolistiche inspired by the Concept of Wilderness, standards to be applied in all existing protected areas and those to be expected in the future establishment, at least defense of the last remaining wilderness areas in the Italian territory. And only then can we defend our right to consider their indisputable, like the right to defend our homes, our real estate, our material goods in general.
Forever Wild could mean for our forever. "
John Muir wrote in a letter to his brother: "First sell 20 acres of meadow near the lake and keep it fenced so that there can not penetrate the cattle .... I want to save untrodden remains of ferns and flowers, and even though I can not see him again, the beauty of the lilies and orchids will be all in my mind that I will rejoice just imagination. "
Our mind henceforth atrophied in an artificial way of life, illusory and superficial, it allows us to conceive, even for a moment, the existence of a nature which has not been manipulated and transformed by man. Our thoughts of men "civilian" does not include more than something that is not human or at least humanized. That's why we appreciate only things that show in some way a "presence" human, even minimal, but always human (wild a path, not beaten and unmarked, is considered "abandoned", impractical, uncomfortable). Everything must always be submissive in any way the work of man. It is hoped that the last areas of the earth that are still immune from the "disease" human remains so forever.
"What I tried to say is that the conservation of wildlife in the world is ... The street is made of wild spaces. The most alive is the wildest. Not yet subdued to man, his presence the invigorates .... When I want to re-create me, I seek the forest more intricate, more dense and more extended, and for the city dweller, the most dismal and swampy. I enter as a sacred place, a sanctum sanctorum. There is the strength, the marrow, of Nature. In short, all good things are wild and free "(HD Thoreau).
John Mitchell in his article (1998) reminds us, to confirm what you said a moment ago: "When we speak of wilderness does not mean only a physical place, nor a management system ...... Wilderness is also a state of mind. An idea at once elusive and earthly as the personal risk, the freedom, solitude and spiritual rest, as concrete as the living earth and the waters that draw the profile. " He added, citing his partner Charles Little: "The earth is a community, Leopold taught. Its waters, soil, plants, animals, form a harmonious whole not for our benefit, but for them. "
And 'right to complete and integrate speech with the words of Aldo Leopold have quoted several times, you must first designation of Wilderness Area of the world, and universally known for his treatises on' "Earth Ethics". A Sand County Almanac opera (1949/1968, translated by F. Zunino): "The Wilderness is the raw material from which man has manipulated the artifact called civilization.
The Wilderness was never a homogenous raw material. It was very different results and the artifacts are, therefore, very different.These differences in the final product we know as culture. The rich diversity in the wilderness of which have come to life.
For the first time in the history of the human species, two changes are imminent. One is the exhaustion of the Wilderness in the most populated portion of the globe. The other is the hybridization of world cultures through modern transport and industrialization. Neither of them can be prevented, or perhaps may be so, since, by some trivial improvements of the changes imposed, certain values can be preserved before they are lost.
For the hot blacksmith at work, the iron on his anvil is an adversary to be conquered. So was the Wilderness, an opponent for the pioneers. But for the blacksmith in repose, able for a moment a glimpse into his world of philosophy, the same raw iron is something to love and cherish, because it gives meaning to his life and determination. This means the preservation of some remnants of Wilderness as museum pieces, to the delight of those who may someday want to see them, live them, or learning about the origins of their cultural heritage. "
Although some steps have a repetition of what is written on the wilderness, are some points (points 1 and 2) the programmatic document of the Italian Association for the Wilderness, so you better focus the importance of certain aspects of the real vision of conservation of nature.
Step 1 - Wilderness as feeling
Like all beauty, even in the vastness of nature in its many aspects and its physical manifestations before they arouse in us of a scientific or cultural interests or to meet recreational needs, arouses emotion. Would be foolish to deny it, each of us with the reflection may be able to go back to that first thrill of discovery of the natural world. Everything else came after our interests, with acculturation. Nature is thus primarily a spiritual heritage to man, and the complex environmental intact and therefore more beautiful in a natural yardstick, are the cathedrals or shrines of this spirituality.
In modern society it may be sick of the spirit so much as in the body, and in these cases the contact with nature, living in nature in a balanced manner becoming contributing members of their community finding ancestral relationship with it, may be one way, and it certainly is for many people, to find the mood that we improve and enhance our civil life with others, our social ethics, so it is a way to improve society in which we live. The nature in this case becomes an indispensable part of our life experience. This is the feeling that the Anglo-Saxons were closely related to the experience of "Wilderness".
In front of a forest destroyed, defaced a mountain, any alteration of the landscape we love or have we loved, we feel within us a spontaneous movement of revolt, which is our first reaction to these crimes. All other reasons, social, cultural, recreational, scientific and economic ones, we list them later, by reasoning. Once again we see, then, how to awaken the spiritual value of our first and most heartfelt interest. Despite this, the tendency is to put these other reasons at the top of our interests, and to make the reasons why we want to protect nature, we come practically to deny to ourselves the emotions we have inside and that is the first ground of revolt, so the very first reason why we must fight to protect the natural heritage (and this applies to artistic works, whose sentimental value is always higher than the market): the view itself without these feelings would not make senseor would be very sterile and cold.
Ultimately, we must protect nature because it is beautiful, because we like and gives us emotions, and especially because he has a right to exist. Those who understand this feeling understood the philosophy of Wilderness. Linking this idea is limited only to the wilderness: the great wild spaces are just the best places, one of the greatest beauty and natural wealth, which guarantee the rights of nature and where our emotional attitude to it is manifested most.
The spiritual needs of human nature are bound to increase, but both capitalism and consumerism are based on a materialistic society that tends to ignore this human need and that is then placed destroying or at least every natural phenomenon to its technological and economic needs and if there is a chance to stop this evolution, not revolution in social systems, but in exalting and advance the values of human feelings, because in them is able to resist UNOCHA strength and conditioning.
The inner motivation are among other things, the only ones that can never be then placed at the fickleness of politicians and administrators territory. Even in the most critical moments of social life will be harder to waive the need to preserve a little of nature, even when faced with serious contingent requirements may deny, in the limits of humanity, the destruction of nature.Such a force does not have any materialistic motivations.
Step 2 - Wilderness as greater respect for nature
Those who feel the desire for a different relationship with the environment, more tied to the needs of inner beauty and solitude, reflection, enjoyment of beauty, moments of life and the evolution of nature, the need to understand more easily than most, understand that the rights of nature, at least in some areas, should have the first place and that man must always ready to pull back to visit soon become obvious signs of change that his presence causes, ranging from environmental degradation to the disturbance of wildlife, the loss of certain states of peace and solitude (which are right before our fauna); therefore also ready to give up to nature when it is the case:
Instead, the majority of those who love nature, fauna, flora, or they enjoy physical recreation through it, rarely poses problems of its renunciation of the pleasures of respect for their needs. Usually, every organization, every interest group, trying to set limits to other organisms or groups of people whose freedom of action threatens their needs. It almost always looks to others, before self-criticism and began to see what its activities should be restricted. The most striking example is the rivalry between naturalists and hunters. The first would abolish all hunting activities seen as a rival to their interests, but almost never poses problems limiting their activities to the observation, study or recreation such as hunting even dangerous in certain situations.
" The wilderness is a spiritual need that each of us carries inside , and from the simple love of beauty to the overwhelming need to feel some loneliness . And ' the discomfort we feel in nature before the work of man, even when this is minimal or has the purpose of preservation or study. The wild water is free to flow, erode , swell and overflow ; is the freedom of flying and running animals; are intact horizons of mountains or flat marshes ; is the immensity of the sky in a landscape of grass ; is the silence of nature and the roar of the waters in the mountain valleys ; the howl of the storm in the forest ; the hiss of the storm and the roar of the avalanche scary ; the slow flight of canceling the space between the mountains ; is the play of the waves on the reef. The wilderness is turning around his eyes and did not see a sign of a man; is to listen and do not hear the noise of man " (Franco Zunino ) .
"The protection of a natural area can certainly have many roles, many purposes , but I think only one has to be the purpose for which it is to be implemented to preserve the land for its own sake . And keep it means , or should mean , to you that is not altered deliberately , it means deciding to subtract it from the logic of development (which is the logic of profit ) that is purely human .
Deciding to keep a place you decide to keep that place for an ancestral behavior , animal, who is our origin , that is the only way to define ourselves in balance with the environment : no deer , no wolves , no bear has ever could or purported to "develop" or " enhance " or " to produce" their own habitat . Simply use it for thousands of years for what it offers them spontaneously and leaving it unchanged for generations . It 's just the man the only species of animal to be out of this " circle of life." (Franco Zunino )
To read the full text of the law of the Wilderness Act Click here