26 Apr SLIDES.- WILDERNESS
We are the last generation that can experience true wilderness. Already the world has shrunk dramatically. To a Frenchman, the Pyrenees are “wild.” To a kid living in a New York City ghetto, Central Park is “wilderness.” Even travelers in Patagonia forget that its giant, wild-looking estancias are really just overgrazed sheep farms.
Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread. A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.
Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We need wilderness whether or not we ever set foot in it. We need a refuge even though we may never need to set foot in it. We need the possibility of escape as surely as we need hope. We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in.