Discussion on “Contemporary criticisms of the received wilderness idea”

This week, Environmental Reading and Media group is taking a look at J. Baird Callicott’s “Contemporary criticisms of the received wilderness idea.”

“I am not here criticizing the places we call “wilderness.” Quite the contrary. Rather, I criticize a name, a concept, the received wilderness idea. I am as passionately solicitous of the places called wilderness as any of the defenders of the classic wilderness idea. However, in my opinion, the name “wilderness” improperly colors them, frames them and makes them available for inappropriate uses and abuses.” – pg. 1

Here are a few things to think about:

  • Do names for areas (natural areas, national recreation areas, national parks, wilderness or national forests) change your perception of the area?
  • Do you agree with the author that wilderness is an ethnically charged title for land? How have wilderness areas changed over time?

Feel free to answer in the comments section!

The Reading and Media Group meets every Thursday at 6 p.m. in the second floor lounge of the New Student Center. New readers are always welcome, and cookies are always plentiful.


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