What is wilderness?

  • (noun): A wild and uninhabited area.
    Synonyms: wild


Wilderness or wildland is a natural environment on Earth that has not been significantly modified by human activity. It may also be defined as: "The most intact, undisturbed wild natural areas left on our planet—those last truly wild places that humans do not control and have not developed with roads, pipelines or other industrial infrastructure." Wilderness areas can be found in preserves, estates, farms, conservation preserves, ranches, National Forests, National Parks and even in urban areas along rivers, gulches or otherwise undeveloped areas. These areas are considered important for the survival of certain species, biodiversity, ecological studies, conservation, solitude, and recreation. Wilderness is deeply valued for cultural, spiritual, moral, and aesthetic reasons. Some nature writers believe wilderness areas are vital for the human spirit and creativity. They may also preserve historic genetic traits and provide habitat for wild flora and fauna that may be difficult to recreate in zoos, arboretums or laboratories.

Read more about Wilderness.

Some articles on wilderness:

Wilderness - Critique
... The American concept of wilderness has been criticized by some nature writers ... William Cronon writes that what he calls a wilderness ethic or cult may "teach us to be dismissive or even contemptuous of such humble places and experiences", and that "wilderness tends to privilege some parts of ... Cronon also believes the passion to save wilderness "poses a serious threat to responsible environmentalism" and writes that it allows people to "give ourselves permission to evade responsibility for the lives ...
Eagle Cap Wilderness - Topography
... The Eagle Cap Wilderness is characterized by high alpine lakes and meadows, bare granite peaks and ridges, and U-shaped glacial valleys ... Elevations in the Wilderness range from approximately 3,000 feet (914 m) in lower valleys to 9,838 feet (2,999 m) at the summit of Sacajawea Peak with 30 other summits exceeding 8,000 feet (2,400 m) ... The Wilderness is home to Legore Lake, the highest lake above sea level in Oregon at 8,950 feet (2,728 m), as well as almost 60 alpine lakes (9 of which are above 8,000 feet), and more ...
Eagle Cap Wilderness - Wildlife
... Eagle Cap Wilderness is home to a variety of wildlife, including black bears, cougars, Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, and mountain goats ... deer, mule deer, and Rocky Mountain elk roam the Wilderness ... Trout can be found in many of the lakes and streams in the Wilderness ...
Eagle Cap Wilderness
... Eagle Cap Wilderness is a wilderness area located in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon (United States), within the Wallowa–Whitman National ... The Wilderness was established in 1940 ... In 1964, it was included in the National Wilderness Preservation System ...
Deschutes National Forest - Wilderness Areas
... There are five officially designated wilderness areas within Deschutes National Forest that are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System ... Diamond Peak Wilderness (partly in Willamette NF) Mount Jefferson Wilderness (mostly in Willamette NF partly in Mount Hood NF) Mount Thielsen Wilderness (mostly in ...

Famous quotes containing the word wilderness:

    I was exceedingly interested by this phenomenon, and already felt paid for my journey. It could hardly have thrilled me more if it had taken the form of letters, or of the human face. If I had met with this ring of light while groping in this forest alone, away from any fire, I should have been still more surprised. I little thought that there was such a light shining in the darkness of the wilderness for me.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)