Woods, Wilderness

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Unformatted text preview: UlIZHIZUUb 15:13 Hbfil HZ'JH MUNHLII: LLB |-_HI-_!:i|-_H'\-"|-_!:i I-‘n'fl'ullsilz U1 Semester: Fall fl@~ u er Date: E? “b 5 Number of pages: 1?; Qourse infgmation: Professor's name ' " Campus phone # iflflfi Course Name: E" “x - ‘ Course # {3 1f“; :L d X 1 g ‘3 WWW and 9 mg ER“ u - J m ok: Author: I j m w “mafia ewe—“WW Author-[Book Title: Publisher: Volume: Issue: Date: Page Numbers: (Max. 25pgs) Infimetors Cgmmgnfl: For more Information contact: Monroe library E-lleaelm manager Brooke Brown (3 864-7158 or e-mall bmhrowugfilomoedu 8132332885 15:18 ElEu?25'EI MDNRDE LIE ERESER'v'ES F'i’liGE 82 24 Wilderness MARK WOODS Introduction: The Badlands and wilderness philosophy At the end of the Cretaceous period (approximately 70 million years ago}. what is now western North Dakota in the United States was covered by an Inland sea. Over time this area was dramatically altered by the draining of this sea: the uplifting of the midaNorth American. continent: sedimentation and erosion From rivers in nearby mountain ranges: volcanic activity: altered climate patterns: glaciation: and the colonization. migration. immigration. and extinction of a wide variety of species. Today this area contains geological and ecological formations found nowhere else - in North Dakota: buttes. mesas. canyons. bentonite clay slopes. sooria deposits. naturally burning coal veins. petrified forests. perennial prairie grasslands. ponderosa pine forests. and riparian communities. Elk. bison. pronghorn antelope. bighorn sheep. ferrets. and prairie dogs that are new locally extinct over much or all of North Dakota can be found in this area. Called “Make Shiite" [ "land bad") by the Lakota Indians who inhabited this area until the end of the nineteenth century and “la-s mouvoises terms ii traverser" (“the bad lands to cross") by eighteenth—century French fur trappers. the “Badlands” have long been recognized as a unique area. The Theodore RooseVelt National Park now protects some of the remnants of the Badlands from developments such as mining and cattle grazing. In order to preserve some of the land within the park in a "wilderness condition." in 1978 the United States Congress designated a wilderness area in each of the two separate units of the park. In accordance with, American environmental laws. these two wilderness areas were to be preserved forever in an untrammeled. pristine state of nature. uninhabited by people. Several years prior to the designation of these two wilderness areas. about half a million. acres of the Little Missouri National Grasslands that surround the two units of the national park remained roadlcss and suitable for wilderness designation. By the end of the tWentieth century the blazing of roads. the drilling of numerous oil and gas wells. and extensive cattle grazing within these areas had reduced the roadless acre- age to less than one-third of its original size. and further developments threaten to eliminate virtually all of the rest. A coalition of environmental groups champion the preservation of all the remaining roadless lands in the North Dakota Badlands and recommend the designation of eleven new wilderness areas. They Face an uphill. battle against mining companies. cattle ranchers. and others who wish to continue to develop and inhabit the Badlands. Should these eleven new Wilderness areas be designated? Why or why not? Ulr'ler'Zlfilfi'J 15:13 tlh4 HZ'JH MUNHLII: L J. H I-_HI-_‘:i|-_H't-"I-_l:i 350 MARK wooos [ raise these questions concerning the North Dakota Badlands because this is a paradigm ease of wilderness protection in North America and in many other areas. Environmentalists who wish to protect some of the last remaining wild and natural areas in North Dakota are pitted against oil companies. ranchers. and others who wish to develop and use some of the last remaining unexploited natural resources in the state. The case of the Badlands also can. be read as a textbook example of a central problem within environmental philosophy. as wilderness supposedly represents the quintessential non—human. natural world that. many argue. is deserving of our protection. Choices that are made about wilderness protection. in the Badlands embody answers to further questions about wilderness in general: How should wild- erness be protected? Why is it worth protecting? In what does Its value consist? What precisely is wilderness? According to the so-called “received wilderness idea" (Callicott. in Caliicott and Nelson 1998). standard answers can be given to these questions. I begin by discussing this received idea and the role it has played in some oi" the early work in environ- mental ethics. More recently. philosophers and others have begun to question wild— erness and the values associated with it. and a number of critical arguments have been made against the concept of wilderness and the philosophy of wilderness pre- servation (see many of the essays in Callicott and Nelson 1998}. I outline five of these arguments and attempt to sketch some responses that wilderness advocates might make to them. I conclude by outlining some future directions for wilderness philo~ sophy. Before I begin. an important caveat is in order: much of my focus is directed toward American wilderness. Although the American model of wilderness preservation has been exported to areas beyond the United States. mile]: of the current understanding of wilderness — the received wilderness idea. a» has been informed by and made in explicit reference to American wilderness. Accordingly. American wilderness is the central target of many of the anti-wilderness arguments l outline below. The receiVed wilderness idea What is wilderness? One of the most cited and criticized answers to this question is the following: 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'lli'e are untrammeled by man. where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. An area of wilderness is further defined to mean in this chapter an area of undeveloped Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence. without permanent improvements or human habitation. which is proteuted and managed so as to Preserve its natural conditions and which (1) generally appears to have been afflicted primarily by the forces of nature. with the imprint of man‘s work substan- tially unnoticeable: (2) has outstanding opportunities for solitude or a primitive and UHCOI‘Ifined type of recreation: (3) has at least 1ch thousand acres of land or is of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition: and {4-} may also contain ecological. geological. or other features of scientific. scenic. or historical value. (Wilderness Act of .1964. 93].] Elici) U3 This definition i practical managen of wilderness in tei occupied by people argue that it enshr western notions of what wilderness is Max Oelschiaegc we have come to t'. the Neolithic age ( distinction betweer plants. Prior to this of wilderness becai Wilderness apart fry the idea of nature t Wilderness and the early JudeoFChristi conquered. The cc English term "wilt animals and uninl meaning of wilder! world of America civilization and po] Indians]. The rest manifest destiny. a] transformation int: early twentieth ce romanticizc it and 4.41:«-83.96—121.2 amass and bring it erness areas to Fire The ideal of wild. is now embodied in United States that l The American mot traiia. New Zealanu The World Wilden wilderness preserv: means are Used to areas (some sugges (ibid. pp. 54—5)). These wilderness in environmental e ated calls for wildei such, as Henry Dav] Leopold. Sigurd Ul alrasraaas 15:19”: lands because this is a d in many other areas. lining wild and natural Ichers. and others who .ed natural resources in in}: example of a central pposedly represents the re. is deserving of our :ction in the Badlands ieral: How should wild~ its value consist? What illieott. in Callicott and as. I begin by discussing early work in environ- Jegun to question wild- rritical arguments have ophy of wilderness pre- 3). i outline five of these- srness advocates might as for wilderness philo— focus is directed toward erness preservation has : current understanding armed by and made in :riCan wilderness is the tline below. :rs to this question is the s works dominate the :1 its community of life J does not remain. An n area of undeveloped 9. Without permanent rd managed so as to ppearsto have been ’man's wort: substan- nde or a primitive and acres of land or is of rec in an unimpaired or other features of . §1131(c)) HEATEEEI MDNRDE LIE ERESER'U'ES F'i’liGE B4 Witnsa ness 35 1 This definition is largely directed towards qualifying wilderness for legal and practical management purposes. but the lirst sentence importantly defines an ideal of Wilderness in terms of a natural area that is untrammeled and not permanently occupied by people. Although this definition is from American public land law. many argue that it enshrines a “received wilderness idea” that is historically shaped from western notions of wilderness and. in turn. shapes much of the accepted notion or what wilderness is today (Callicott. in Callicott and Nelson 1998). ‘Max Oelschlaeger (1991. p. 28) argues that the rudimentary idea of wilderness. as we have come to understand it today. emerged during the agricultural transition to the Neolithic age (approximately 10.000—8.000 see} when people began to make a distinction. between the "domestic" and the "wild." as applied to lands. animals. and plants Prior to this. Oelschlacger claims, Paleolithic humans had no antagonistic idea of wilderness because they were too much. a part of nature to conceive of nature as wilderness apart from themselves. Much later. biblical and European attitudes toward the idea oi" nature as pristine wilderness ranged from worship to hatred. In his classic Wilderness and the American Mind. Roderick Nash (1982) claims that wilderness in early laden-Christian thought Was understood as a place of evil to be feared and conquered. The contemporary term “wilderness” can be traced baclt to the Old English term “wildeornes.” meaning uncultivated or wild land inhabited by wild animals and uninhabited by people. Nash (ibid. pp. 8—43] claims that it was this meaning of wilderness that was in play when the first Europeans arrived in the new world of America and Found themselves in a “condition of wilderness." empty of civilization and populated only by wild beasts and “savage men” (Native American Indians). The rest of Nash's story is well known. Hostility toward this wild land. manifest destiny. and drive for economic gain led to the conquest of wilderness and its transformation into pastoral and urban civilization until. by the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. so little wilderness remained that: Americans began to romanticize it and see it as something good that should be preserved (ibid. pp. 4%83. 96—121. 20047). Today, rather than putting up Fences to cultivate wild— erness and bring it under human eontrol, Americans fence off their remaining wild- erness areas to prevent themselves from harming it. The ideal oi" wilderness as untrammeled. uninhabited land that should be preserved is now embodied in more than 600 federal. legally designated wilderness areas in the United States that comprise 4.5 percent of the land mass of the 50 American states. The American model of wilderness preservation has been exported to Canada. Aus— tralia. New Zealand. South Africa. and Zimbabwe (Hendee et al. l990. pp. 45—90). The World Wilderness Congress exists as an international organization devoted to wilderness preservation all over the planet. and a wide variety of legal and political means are used to designate various land classification schemes for wilderness—type areas (some suggest thinking of biosphere reserves as international wilderness areas (ibid. pp. 54—5)). These wilderness preservation eitorts accord wall with some oi~ the early work done in environmental ethics in the IQbOs and 19805. Environmental ethicists rearticul— ated calls for wilderness preservatibn that were made by early wilderness champions such as Henry David Thoreau. Iohb Muir. Theodore Roosevelt. Robert Marshall. Aldo Leopold. Sigurd Olson. and David! Brewer. who appealed to the primal. aesthetic. 8132332885 854?258 15: 18 MDNRDE LIE ERESER'U'ES 352 MARK wooos spiritual. recreational. symbolic. and scientific values wilderness held for people (see I NINETEENTH- AND TWENTIETH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHY. THE LAND crate). Traditional ethical theories were reinterpreted as ascribing instrumental values to wilderness. and various arguments were advanced to justify wilderness preservation (Nelson. in Callicott and Nelson 1998: Seesions 1992). Wilderness also figured prominently in non-anthropocentric environmental ethic-s. Paul Taylor's (1 986) biocentric theory of environmental ethics was directed toward wild animals and plants that existed as natural species-populations independent of human control or intrusion. Holmes ‘- Rolston's (1 938) ecoccntric theory ofenvironmental ethics found its fullest expression . in wilderness ecosystems that existed largely apart from human culture. Robert - Elliot’s defense of the value—adding property of naturalness (originally published in i 1982: see Elliot 1997) relied upon the significance of wilderness's causal continuity with its non-human past (see NDRMA'IIVE srmcs}. Let us return to the North Dakota Badlands and the questions about wilderness I ' raised above as a way of summarizing the received idea of wilderness. First. why.- should wilderness be protected? When We look at the two already existing and the eleven proposed wilderness areas in the Badlands. we can articulate a number of different reasons that might answer this question. Many visitors are struck by the area’s beauty: some claim to have had intense spiritual experiences or to have found ‘ God there; hikers. horseback riders. backpackers. hunters. and canoeists find oppor-' tunities for a “primitive and unconfined type of recreation": and many North Dako's tans feel a sense of pride knowing that some of the state's most rugged lands still exist in a pristine condition. Protecting wilderness in the Badlands protects native animals and plants that have disappeared elsewhere in the state. and unique biotic commute- ities and ecosystems found nowhere else in the state exist in a wilderness condition. j Second. in what does the value of wilderness consist? Those who take an objectivist approach [see META-ETHICS) might claim that it can be found in the flora and fauna of .. the Badlands or in the region‘s biotic and ecological assemblages. while those who ' take a snbjectivist approach might claim that it is associated with the unique wild- . erness experiences one can have there. Third. how should wilderness be protected? In the case of the Badlands. wilderness proponents argue that all the remaining de facto wilderness areas (existing wilderness areas that do not yet have formal legal status as . protected areas) should be given federal protoction as legally designated Wilderness ' areas where human impacts. motorized travel. and permanent human habitation is ‘ banned. Finally. what is wilderness? In the Badlands, wilderness may be defined as untrammeled. uninhabited. pristine areas that have been affected primarily by nat- ural. non-human forces. This happy picture of untrammeled wilderness in the Badlands is in trouble. While legislators argue about the need for more Wilderness. the amount of de facto wild- erness that exists in the Badlands continuas to shrink due to human impacts. The two existing wilderness areas may be too small to support viable populations of some of ‘ “ their resident species. and both are impacted by anthropogenic impacts ranging from oil Wells on their borders to the specter of global CLIMATE change. Further. the receiVed idea of wilderness that gives meaning to wilderness preservation in the Badlands also is in trouble. Five main anti—wilderness arguments may be- identified. F'fliGE 85 The ecological my I shall call the first argu tion.” When we preset precisely is it that we p justify wilderness preset distinctive wilderness ex] preservation is aimed pr: wilderness that is press the wilderness experienu dog. that golden eagle. 1 Species and populations oscillations of their num exist across time? Many t at preserving these kinds general “balance of natu mental organising mode balance — the organismic \ are now in disrepute (Wo llnx. where disturbances .- stability or simple balance preserved in wilderness preservation? “Preservati. and maintain it in a cent erness is. J. Baird Callico preservation is paradoxica it the same (see me LAND How might a wildcrnes note that the argument re ance ecology is best chars. and simple balance in net thought to be the exceptir not mean. however. that organisms. species. and _r limits that may be largely pogenic disturbances may Insofar as anthropogenic i erness. and the protection include protection against Further. and perhaps eon.- edge that past wilderness p by value considerations in. in Callicott and Nelson 19 political boundaries that i E LIE ERESER'U'ES 8132332885 15:18 854?258 MDNRD WILDERNESS 3 5 3 The ecological argument distinctive wilderness experien ces for people. il: seems difficult to claim that wilderness preservation is aimed primarily at preserving these experiences. Rather. what is it in wilderness that is preserved across time that in turn provides Opportunities for the wilderness experiences of people? individual organisms - this blacktail prairie dog. that golden eagle. this wild lin — come and go through migration and death. Species and populations of organisms change throngh evolution. extinction. and oscillations of their numbers. What about biotic communities and ecosystems that exist across time? Many have thought that wilderness preservation should be directed at preserving these kinds of holistic ecological assemblages and. more properly. at a general “balance of nature" as it exists in wilderness. However. three of the funda- ' mental. organizing models of modern ecological science that express this idea of balance — the organismic model. the community model. and the ecosystem model —- are now in disrepute (Worster 1994:). Ecologists tell us that nature exists in perpetual. flux. where disturbances and stochastic changes are the norm and where any kind of stability or simple balance of nature is the exception (Eotlcin 1990). What then can be preserved in wilderness such as in the Badlands? What is the fixed referent for preservation? "PrcServation" suggests that we protect Something from disturbance and maintain it in a continuous state. Since this now seems contrary to what wild— erness is. I. Baird Callicott (in Callicott and Nelson 1998) argues that wilderness preservation is paradoxical because it works against wilderness itself in order to keep it the same {see THE LAND E'I'HIC). How might a wilderness advocate respond to the ecological argument? We should note that the argument relies upon the new science of disturbance scotoov. Disturb- ance ecology is best characterized as a shift in attention away from stable equilibrium and simple balance in nature and toward disturbances and changes. Disturbances — thought to be the exception in nature m are now thought to be the norm. This does not mean. however. that "anything goes" in nature. Esologists still tell us that organisms. species. and populations have functional. evolutionary. and historical limits that may be largely nonuanthropogcnic in origin (Pickett et al. 1992). Anthro— pogenic disturbances may or may not resemble non-anthropogenic disturbances. InSofar as anthropogenic disturbances do not. they can be deemed harmful to wild- erness. and the protection of wilderness areas as natural areas meaningfully might include protection against unnatural disturbances and unnatural disturbance rates. Further. and perhaps equally problematic to the argument. many people acknowl- edge that past wilderness preservation efforts largely .have been motivated and steered by value considerations independent of knowledge from ecological science (Callicott. in Callicott and Nelson 1998). The fact that most American wilderness areas have political boundaries thal: bear little correspondence to ecological boundaries bears UlHZHHZUUb 15:13 Hh4f2bH MUNHUt LLB thHtHth 3 54 MARK woons Witness to this. The new science of disturbance ecology is no obstacle to ecology playing a greater role in future wilderness protection efforts. The conceptual argument Protecting non-anthropogenic disturbances such as lightning-caused fires. natural colonisation. of new prairie dog towns. and flooding along the Little Missouri River in the Badlands presumes that we can make a meaningful. distinction betWeen what is anthropogenic and what is not. When We protect the tap of the Big Plateau from anthropogenic impacts. we are protecting part of the Petrified Forest Wilderness Area as a place that fundamentally exists apart from people. If a tract oi” wilderness is developed or impacted by people, it may appear that we can no longer call it wild- erness. as it now becomes a part of some human culture. Thus. in order to define wilderness as untrammeled. pristine nature. we must first presuppose that a firm boundary between it and us exists. What I shall, call the “conceptual argument against the concept of wilderness" denies this. Because we as humans evolved from ancestors common to other species, Callicott (in Callicott and Nelson 1998) claims that wilderness perpetuates a pre-Darwinian myth that we exist apart from nature. and the concept of wilderness is grounded in a metaphysically untenable dualism between culture and nature. William Cronon (in Calllcott and Nelson 1998) also is skeptical of the culturelnature distinction. and he claims that the concept of wild— erness embodies a dualistic vision in which people are situated outside of nature This vision is supposedly problematic. but the reasons why it is problematic are less than clear. Cronon vacillates between two different assertions. First. because the concept of wilderness (like any other concept) is socially or culturally constructed. it is problem- atic to say that it can refer to something — de facto wilderness - that exists beyond human culture. Second. because we exclude our human presence from the place of de facto wilderness. we cannot have a meaningful relation ship with nature. and We deny our own naturalness. Both of these assertions seem to suggest that the concept of wilderness is flawed because it is defined as a place apart from us. The first (social constructivist) assertion leads to the conclusion that wilderness cannot be meanw ingfully defined apart from us. while the second (naturalistic) assertion leads to the conclusion that Wilderness should not be meaningfully defined apart l‘rom us. How might a wilderness advocate respond to the conceptual argument? Consider first Callicott's claim about the preFDarwinian myth of wilderness. Homo sapiens may come from the same evolutionary lineage as other species. and from this evolutionary ‘ fact we might want to conclude that a sharp metaphysical distinction between the rest of nature and ourselves cannot be maintained. But rejecting a metaphysical distinction between wilderness and culture may not render a conceptual distinction completely meaningless. Just as there are some significant differences between coyotes and cottonwood trees below the Achenbach Hills in the Badlands. there also may be some significant differences between a lone backpacker and everything else below these bills. But what precisely are these diil'erences. and why are they significant? Oelschlaeger (1991. p. 3) argues that we can only begin to understand ourselves in a positive sense as cultured. civilized beings by recognizing what we are not in a negative sense - wilderness. Kate Soper (1995. pp. 38—9) argues similarly that Pfibt UH touch of human dist human nature as a 1 Imagine. for example essays in, this book) 1 nature” and “human erness" have a eultur only cultural artifacts Ekblom Spring in the I had nothing to do wit conceptual argument. ing this slope as a (wil The no-wildernes. This bentonite clay sic and backpackers since Prior to this. lioWevcr. years and. more recent niboin. Hidatsa. and I Spanish explorers. Eur: ranchers. among otbe uninhabited non-huma of wilderness). this slop: not just the Badlands bl to find the condition of (in Callicott and Nelson least the past ten mlllr eVeryWhere. built num through such means as inhabited what is now percent of these peeple c by 1750 much of Nortl was devoid of people. ‘ ignore the historical fs impacted by people in i North America. and all are fake. I shall call th evidence that people ha~ be made for virtually an (perhaps barring Antarc only recently). How might a wildern sider first the claim that It‘s not clear that empiric certainly are many instai North America in the p: MUNHUt LLB thHtHth UlIZHIZUUb 15:13 Hb4f2bH WILDERNESS 3 5 5 erness" haVe a cultural origin. But does this force us to conclude that they denote only cultural artifacts? Consider a bare bentonite clay slope i once traversed near Ekblom Spring in the Badlands. The creation of this slope — as far as anyone can tell — had nothing to do with people and human culture. Contrary to those who pose the conceptual argument. a wilderness advocate denies that the mere act of conceptualiz- ing this slope as a (wilderness) slope turns it into a cultural artifact. The nor-wilderness argument Prior to this. however. it may have been traversed by Paleo~Indians for thousands of years and. more recently, by Mandan. Crow. Cheyenne. Ariltara. Gros Ventre. Assi— niboin. Hidatsa. and Lakota Indians (as Well as French for trappers. British and Spanish explorers. European-American pioneers. the United States Army. and cattle ranchers. among others). If we define wilderness as untI'EllTlJ'DElEd. unimpacted. uninhabited non—human nature (a la Wilderness Act of 1964 and the received view of wilderness). this slope may not count as such. In fact. as We step back and examine not just the Badlands but the entire North American continent. we are hard-pressed to lind the condition oi~ wilderness that Nash (1982) describes. As William Denevan {in Callicott and Nelson 1998) tells us. people have existed in North America for at least the past ten millennia. The original inhabitants lived and traveled virtually everywhere. built numerous structures. and actively managed many landscapes through suoh means as agriculture. hunting. and fires. Three to. four million people inhabited what is now the United States and Canada in 1492. l-lowaver. up to 90 percent ol'these people died. largely as a result of European—transported diseases. and by 1750 much of‘ North America (excluding Mexico) beyond the eastern seaboard was devoid of people. Wilderness preservation efi‘orts seem doomed because they ignore the historical fact that what we today preserve as wilderness has been impacted by people in the past. There is no such thing as de facto wilderness in North America. and all of our current wilderness areas as untramrneled wilderness are fake. T. shall call this the "no—wilderness argument." It relies upon empirical evidence that people have impacted most of North America. and the argument can be made for virtually anywhere on the planet where we think that wilderness exists l perhaps barring Antarctica. which has remained unimpacted and uninhabited until only recently). How might a wilderness advocate respond to the no—wilderness argument? Con— sider first the claim that all of North America. was impacted by people prior to 1492. It's not clear that empirical evidence exists to support a claim of this magnitude. There certainly are many instances of NatiVB American indians modifying the landscapes of North America in the past. but how much. impact did fewer than dmillion people UlIZBIZUUb MUNHUt LLB thHtHth lb:lH Hb4f2bH 3 56 MARK wooos have on a continent that currently supports more than 300 million Americans and Canadians? Native American Indians looked much ofthe technology that exists today that can be employed on large scales to change entire landscapes. Although I lack the space here to discuss what we might call "traditional Native American Indian land conservation practices and environmental ethics." there .is a growing body of evid- ence about pre-Europcan contact peoples and their many and varied forms of land most or all of the North American continent and destroyed whatever wilderness condition it might have had also seems too broad. Second. and perhaps more telling against the no-wilderness argument. the empirical evidence about wilderness impacts is itself open to interpretation. If we define wilderness as “untrammeied nature." what counts as a trammeling? Does the mere fact that someone walked across Bullion Butte in the Badlands 300 years age mean that Bullion Butte is forever trammeled? If we answer “yes” to this question. We are subscribing to what we might call a "purity" definition of wilderness: wilderness must be forever pure of human impacts to count as wilderness. It's not clear. however. that a purity definition of wilderness is viable. because it might rest upon an equivocation betWeen a "trammeling" and an “impact.” To trammel something means to hinder it or to impede its free movement. as when we trammel an animal by confining it and breaking its spirit to roam. To trammel wilderness suggests redirecting and destroying natural processes and eradic— ating natural. wild nature to suit our preferences and interests or. in. short. to control nature. In contrast. to impact nature suggests altering it in ways that may .not destroy it or diminish its independence from us. as when someone simply walks across Bullion Butte. In light of this distinction. it's not clear that past impacts in what we now call‘ wilderness count as telling trammclings against it. Consider also a third point. Can a‘ condition of wilderness re—emerge from past trammelings? The answer is "no" if We follow a purity definition of wilderness. If. as I am suggesting. the purity definition of wilderness is problematic. then it seems possible for a wilderness condition to re- emerge over time. in spite of past trammeiings. I have argued elsewhere that this forward-looking nature of wilderness protection is at least part of the intent behind : federal wilderness preservation efforts in the United States (Woods. in Callicott and Nelson 1998). The moral argument Cronon (in Caliicott and Nelson 1998) argues that the creation of the National Wilderness Preservation System in the United States was accomplished at the expense of the aboriginal. native inhabitants of North America. Beginning in the sixteenth century and continuing to this day. Native American Indians have been killed and removed from landscapes for a variety of reasons. one of which was to create empty landscapes that were “suitable” for wilderness designation. Because the killing and removal of Native American Indians was and is morally wrong. the concept of wilderness that necessitated such killing and removal to create wilderness areas also seems to be morally wrong. I shall call this the “moral argument against wilde erness preservation." Pfibt UH How might a wild exceptions. the intent was not to make way killed or removed to n farms. timber operatic here seems to be develo wilderness. Lakota ind: lands in the late ninetec result of land-use patte But while the moral a1 seems questionable. the States National Park Se Waipia in what is now C in 1962 destroyed all no Wilderness Area (Nabha Cuba (in Callicott and N removed and forbidden tr type parks -— Project Tige. wilderness advocates to s ' morally problematic by pi case-by-casc approach f: whether the moral argun The values argumen Our reasons for preserving values. Caiiicott and Subs the concept of wilderness western idea that has ign claims that early wilderne nomic. social. and politicai men): to the extent that we its aesthetic. religious/spir wilderness is “tainted” w: (Plumwood. in ihid) that th eurocentric. androcentric, . that wilderness and its pr problematic logic of eapita. shall call such critiques tl wilderness preservation is p Justified with questionable ‘ these same values. We oft: Wilderness preservation on ' tuency — namely urban bacl area. Oil industry workers 1] against the creation of the RUE LIE ERESER'v'ES 8132332885 15:18 854?258 MUN WILDERNESS 3 5 7 was not to make way for wii killed or removed to make way for railroads. mines livestock grazing. homesteads. farms. timber operations. water developments. cities. [and the like. The real culprit here seems to be development. industrialization. cultivation. and manifest destiny. not . oved from westerh North Dakota and the Bad- ot to make Way felt I 3 wilderness areas but as a ' .. political. and economic structures seems questionable. there are c States National Park Service st Waipia in what is now Organ P in 1962 destroyed all non~his ' h Wilderness Area (Nablian 1987. pp. 89—93). Beyond Nbrth America. Ramachandra Gu ha ( in Callicott and Nelson 1998) cites a similar easel in india. who removed and forbidden to utilize certa‘ ' type parks — Project Tiger u to make way for tiger reservbs. Cases such as these force wilderness advocates to acknowledge that wilderness preservation in practice can be morally problematic by pitting people against wilderness.l Perhaps what is needed is a case-by«case approach for any given or proposed wilderness area to determine whether the moral argument is applicable or not. I he Organ Pipe The values argument i s. however. might tainted with questionable values. Callicott and Cuba (both in Callicott and Nelson :1998) each have criti cizecl the concept of wilderness as being ethnocentric. claiming that it is a peculiarly western idea that has ignored the presence of aboriginal peoples. C'ronon (in ibid) .es typically were in privileged positions of eco- nomic. social. and political powar (that is. many were middle— or upper-class white men); to the extent that we value wilderness today for the same reasons they did — for its aesthetic. religious/spiritual. recreational. and symbolic values. our valuing of wilderness is “tainted” with value (Plumwood. in ibid) that the notice ‘ . .t . tis built around curocentric. androcentric. . ,, .r . (in ibid) argues that wilderness and its preservation are flawed because they are grounded in a problematic logic of capitalism. and capitalism's questionable values. Collectively I shall call. such critiques the "values argument against wilderness preservation”: wilderness preservation is problematic because historically it has been informed and justified with questionable values. and the preservation of wilderness today carr these same values. We often hear this argument when. opponents . . ground that wilderness benefits only tuency — namely urban backpackers — that can actually “use” area. Oil industry workers in western North be against the creation of the 11 proposed wilde Our reasons for preserving wildernes ies argue against a small consti— any given wilderness lcota have made this very argument rness areas in the Badlands which. Ulr'ler'Zlfilfi'J MUNHLII: L J. H I-_HI-_‘:i|-_H"u"|-_l:i lb:l":| Hbfilr’ZbH 358 MARK wooos supposedly. will benefit only “yuppie” backpackers from Fargo and other more populated towns in the eastern part of the state. If wilderness preservation is justified primarily by reference to what wilderness “users” do in wilderness. the values argument seems to be well supported. But wilderness protection can aISo be justified by reference to something distinctive about wilderness itself that helps give rise and expression to wilderness experiences and the values used to articulate them. Such a, non—anthropocentric justification might serve as a counter to different critiques made against wilderness under the rubric of the values argument. And while the values argument importantly directs wilderness advocates to examine the values they hold about wilderness and its protection. critiques of wilderness that rely upon questioning historically traditional wilderness values at the expense of ignoring new values that wilderness might embody or represent risk committing a genetic fallacy with respect to values. But what about the ethnocentric values associated with wilderness and its pre- servation? Certainly some of what has been written about wilderness is ethnocentric. Nash's Wilderness and the American Mind (1982) is a case in point, as Native American Indians are conspicuously absent from much of his account. Because non-European native inhabitants of North America are not seen by Nash as "civilised men." he effectively defines them away and subsumes them under the “wilderness condition” of pro—European North America. What do non—westerners have to say about wilderness? While there are no blanket claims for what all Native American Indians say about wilderness. some tribes have designated wilderness areas within their OWH Indian Reservations, modeled mostly after the National Wilderness Preservation System in the United States. This desig- nated wilderness includes the Mission Mountain Tribal Wilderness in Western Mon- tana, where the Salish and Kootenai have decreed that all. people — including Salish and Kootenai people — within this wilderness are "visitors who do not remain." There ' is much more that needs to be heard from various Native American indians about their many different world—views and attitudes toward wilderness. as well as much more from various aboriginal peoples all over the world (see INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVES). ‘ One could. perhaps, argue that Native American Indian tribes such as the Salish . and Kootenai are themselves guilty of perpetuating the ethnocentricity of the wild—' ‘ erness idea and should abandon their practice of wilderness preservation precisely I because it is ethnocentric. It‘s not clear. hoWever. that we should cease practicing " something merely because it's ethnocentric. Western philosophy is ethnocentric. but a simplistic directive that we should stop practicing it just because of its ethnocem tricity doesn't seem. to follow. Problematic values such as ethnocentricity need not lead to the conclusion that wilderness preservation. must be abandoned. but the values argument should direct wilderness advocates to begin to rethink the justilica— tion of wilderness preservation. by appealing to less problematic values. Concluding remarks Even if the concept of wilderness and the practice of wilderness preservation can survive the ecological. conceptual. no—wilderness. moral and values arguments. other 2;“; :_' ‘. = lasers—saw: filigree: Hills": 1 1 challenges still exist. I cc discussions about wilder First. I want to sugges lie at the heart of the cas been ‘aSSoclated with wii what these values are. h ground a wilderness etl natural has a non-cultt origins (following Elliot than-human autonomy | ness can be articulated : found together in wildern it has value. Given the wildness and the commor appears to be very promis Second, there is much protection. Nelson (1996 doomed because the amoi Reed Nose and Dave Fore wilderness protection ei‘fo: existing wilderness but al: scapes. Third. questions about I to questions about why w Callicott and Nelson 1998 protection of native aioorv terms of biodiversity l'iSSEJ biodiversity. wilderness between biodiversity and i Fourth. I have raised so and people. On a planet in more resource use and rot that will have to be addi beyond. I cannot pretend that seem important: Shot to be banned? When a cul the past. how should the v protection? Will our social, for wilderness? How shoult Given persistent human into the third millennium precisely because we have ( western North Dakota will DNREIE LIE ERESER'U'ES 8132332885 15:18 854?258 M challenges still exist. 1 con . . . important directions for future dlscussions about wilderness. natural has a non-cultural origin with other non-cultural origins (following Elliot 1997). and what is wild exists as an expression of more- thanwhuman autonomy beyond anthropogenic controls: both naturalness and wild- ness can bc articulated as value-add and causal continuity appears to be very promising. ‘ Second. there is much I haven't addressed here protection. Nelson (1996) argues that current wil doomed because the amount of de facto wilderness to questions about why wilderness ought to be protected. Some. such as Callicott (in Callicott and Nelson 1998). argue that wilderness protection should be aimed at the between biodiversity and wilderness. Fourth. I. have raised some of the problems of the rel and people. On a planet with six billion people. a t more resource use and resulting pollution than ever, there are numerous questions that will have to he addressed about wilderness in the twenty-first century and beyond. I cannot pretend to know what all of the questions are. but here are some that seem important: Should permanent human inhabitation of wilderness continue on oppressed and/or marginalized in l survival be balanced with wilderness al. and economic problems overwhelm. our concern ' ink of wilderness in light of global cLiMATe change? anet. any wilderness that survives waver We define. value. or protect it — will survive -n to allow it to survive. Places such as the Badlands of western North Dakota will. directly reflect this choice. atlonship between wilderness apidly growing POPULATION. and the past. how should the value of their culture protection? Will our social. politic Idlr'ZEr'ZidldL-i 15:13 aearzoa MUNHLII: LLB |-_HI-_".:il-_H".-"I-_l:i ‘ L l-‘i'fl'uisilz 1.5 360 MARK wooos worth ol‘wiid animals a: own.] Woods. M. (forthcoming responses to the ecoiog arguments: discusses [cl for conceiving ol‘ Wilden: References Botkin. D. B. (1990) Dlsoordunt Harmonies: A New Ecology for the Twentydirsi Century (Oxford: Oxford University Press). [While the ecologist Eoticin remains sympathetic to wilderness protection. albeit with heavy-handed management. his critique of the ecological balance of nature has been used for the ecological argument against wilderness preservation] . and headers] Callicott. J. B.. and Nelson. M. P.. eds. (.1993) The Great New Wilderness Debate (Athens: . . Worster. D. (1994) Nature University of Georgia Press). [This anthology is arguably the best single book on wilderness bridge University Press). philosophy.] conceptual origins in tin Elliot. R. (1 997) Faking Nature: The Ethics of Environmental Restoration (London; Rullflcdge), [In this summary of some oi‘ his earlier Work. Elliot discusses intrinsic value. ecological restora- tion. and the value of naturalncss.] Hendce. J. C.. Stankey. G. 1-1.. and Lucas. R. C. (.1 990) Wilderness Management. 2nd edn (Golden: Fulcrum Publishing). [This “Bible” of wilderness management is an important primer for understanding the federal management of American wilderness areas] Nabhan. G. F. (1987) The Desert Smells Like Rain: A Naturalist in Papaya Indian Country (San . Francisco: North Point Press). [N abhan’s ethnographical account of some of his experiences J with Fapago Indians is a good example of some of the recent monographs written about Native American Indians and their varied relationships to nature] Nash. R. (1 982) Wilderness and the American Mind. 3 rd edn (New Haven: Yale University Press). [Although problematicaily ethnocentric. Nash's history of American wilderness is considered by many to be the definitive history of wilderness in the United States] Nelson. M. P. (1996) “Rethinking wilderness: the need for a new idea of wilderness." Philosophy in the Contemporary World 3. pp. 6—9. [.In this mostly critical discussion of wilderness. Nelson succinctly raises live anti-wilderness arguments] Oelsehlaeger. M. (1991) The Idea of Wilderness: From Prehistory to the Age of Ecology (New Haren: Yale University Press). [In one of the few books about wilderness written by an environmental philosopher. Oelsehlaeger discusses some of the history oi“ the idea of wild- erness from the Paleolithic age to contemporary wilderness philosophy and develops a postmodern account of wilderness] Pickett. s. r. A.. Parker. v. r. and Ficdler. r. L. (1992) "The new paradigm in ecology: implications for conservation above the species level." in Conservation Biology: The Theory J and Practice of Nature ConserVation. Preservation. and Management. ed. P. L. Fiedler and S. K. Iain (New York: Chapman and Hall). [Picketh Parker. and Fiedlcr succinctly discuss the new- science of disturbance ecology and offer a rejoinder to the ecological argument against - wilderness preservation] Rolston lIl. H. (1988) Environmental Ethics: Duties to and Values in the Natural Warld (Philadel— . phia: Temple University Press). [One of Roiston’s most extensive discussions of values in' nature] . Sessions. G. (1992] "Ecocentrism. wilderness. and global ecosystem protection." in The Wild— . erness Condition: Essays on Environment and Civilization. ed. M. Oelschlaeger (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books). [Sessions catalogues a number of wilderness preservation arguments. diseusses toning the planet for wilderness preservation. and presents a deep ecology position on wildemess.] ‘ Soper. K. (1995) What is Nature? Culture. Politics. and the Non-Human (Oxford: Blackwell). [Super discusses some of the contested polities of nature and argues for a position that is situated between realist and social constructivist views of nature] Taylor. 1?. W. (1986) Respectfor Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics (Princeton: Princeton University Press). [A theory of environmental ethics grounded in respecting the inherent 8132332885 15:18 854?258 responses to the ecological, conceptua arguments: dlsousmes 1 king Wilderness ego! and scientific para MDNRDE L I E ERESER'U'ES I. no-wflderneas. moral a doxcs of wilderness Social history of ecology. ury to contemporary dew. (BroodviCW Press). [Woods articulates nd other anti-wildernesa preservation: and argues . . , 2nd cdn (Cambridge: Cam— tracing ecology from its: InpmcntsJ l4 ...
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