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A Brief History of the National Wilderness Preservation System

There are any number of books, booklets, and articles about Wilderness Areas in the United States, but little has been written about the history of how designated Wilderness Areas have grown in number of areas and in total acreage from 1924 to today. To wit, many conservationists know that New Mexico’s Gila was the first […]

Faraway and Nearby

A tired old broadside against Wilderness Areas goes something like this: “By working to shield and set aside far-off lands as Wilderness Areas, conservationists shun the land where people live and work.” I heard this back in the 1970s from urban environmentalists. Wilderness deconstructionists picked it up twenty years later. Whether they knew it was […]

Around the Campfire #64

Closing Keynote Talk at the 50th Anniversary of The Wilderness Act Conference Editor’s note: Given without notes or outline, this Campfire is Dave’s closing plenary talk (October 19, 2014) from the conference to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act in Albuquerque. Thanks to Vicky Hoover for helping clean up the transcript. The copy here […]

The Anthropocene and Ozymandias

Much has been made lately of the so-called Anthropocene—the idea that Homo sapiens has so taken over and modified Earth that we need a new name for our geological age instead of the outmoded Holocene. One remorseless Anthropoceniac writes, “Nature is gone… You are living on a used planet. If this bothers you, get over […]

Wilderness for the Drylands Bureau of Land Management Wilderness

(Note: This edition of Around the Campfire is adapted from my new book, The Great Conservation Divide, which is now in print. An announcement and order form will soon go out to this list.) Bureau of Land Management in the Wilderness Act Howard Zahniser and other wilderfolks wanted to have all four federal land managing […]