Wilderness Essay



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Wilderness Essay

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Through the course of North American history, it seems that the Native Americans were one of the few races of the human species to know and respect nature in its true form. The "settlers" of the unknown land (North America) have been portrayed by writers as "conquerors" of the mysterious nature. Reflecting on our past as a nation and species, should we take the examples the Native Americans originally lived by and incorporate their knowledge to the younger generations today? How might we do this? By doing this, could it possibly lead to a more sustainable society as envisioned by Leopold and Muir? Use “The Trouble with Wilderness” by William Cronon, “The Land Ethic” by Aldo Leopold, and The Wilderness Idea: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and the First Great Battle for Wilderness or the Humphrey Elementary School Nature Education Project in your essay.
Relate Aldo Leopold's idea that "man-made changes are of a different order than evolutionary changes, and have effects more comprehensive than is intended or foreseen." to Peter Steinhart's statement, "In the future, wildness is going to be defined by the ways the environment modifies the expression of genes." What impacts have humans and nature had on each other? What impacts will humans and nature have on each other? Use “The Land Ethic” by Aldo Leopold and at least two of the following readings/viewings/experiences to support your essay: “The Trouble with Wilderness” by William Cronon, The Wilderness Idea: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and the First Great Battle for Wilderness, the Humphrey Elementary School Nature Education Project.

Using nature writers' work, explain why it is important to teach people about the importance of nature. As you do this:



  • define wilderness

  • talk about preservation and conservation

  • talk about the problems caused by humans and possible solutions

  • and point to necessary changes to thinking to lessen humankind's impact on nature. 

Use “The Land Ethic” by Aldo Leopold, The Wilderness Idea: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and the First Great Battle for Wilderness, and one of the following “The Trouble with Wilderness” by William Cronon or the Humphrey Elementary School Nature Education Project.
Discuss why, in general Americans have no land ethic, how we demonstrate that we don’t, and how we might obtain even somewhat of a land ethic in the type of society we have. As you do this, present the Humphrey Elementary School Nature Education Project and talk about how we would redo the Humphrey experience to incorporate the idea of creating more of land ethic in future generations. You may be creative in this redesign of the project, but you must be realistic, keeping in mind the constraints of elementary schools and college students. Use “The Land Ethic” by Aldo Leopold and the Humphrey Elementary School Nature Education Project, and one of the following: The Wilderness Idea: John Muir, Gifford Pinchot and the First Great Battle for Wilderness or “The Trouble with Wilderness” by William Cronon
something based primarily on “The Trouble with Wilderness” by William Cronon in your essay.


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