About the Website

Wilderness is a resource which can shrink but not grow… the creation of new wilderness in the full sense of the word is impossible.

-Aldo Leopold

Throughout history, humans have pondered the authenticity of wilderness. For different people, nature holds different meaning. Often seen as an escape from society, nature provides some with a recluse capable of taking one back to the literal roots of the earth. A long-standing question remains. How much of the “real deal” natural experience do people receive from wilderness? For some, wilderness today is simply a caricature of its earliest history. This website aims at exploring how wilderness can be broken down and analyzed to reveal that people’s perceptions of wilderness’ authenticity actually stem from their own interests and actions.

  Smaller edited (640x610)Arches National Park – Laura Aprill

The idea of wilderness today lies in the relationship between people and nature. When people use the word “wilderness,” they do so without thinking of the fascinating history behind the word. While most believe wilderness is pristine nature, some argue that it is purely a human construct. Is there really a “Great Split” or are humans and their environment fundamentally connected? Furthermore, is wilderness truly natural or human-created?  All of these ideas play a critical role in the way people view their place in the environment, a relationship that shapes the way people influence the planet. This topic is important because people often do not realize their impact on wilderness as they interact with it. Hopefully after exploring this website, readers can think more about not only the ways they may influence nature, but also the ways in which they perceive the topic of wilderness. There are countless ways in which people unknowingly shape the world around them. While each individual person may appear to hold no more influence on the planet than a single grain of sand has on a beach, society’s collective actions and sometimes unknowing nature shape wilderness in ways beyond our comprehension. It is important to take the time to stop and ponder over how one’s own actions can mold the immense beach of wilderness into a land that is representative of human behavior.

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