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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Wilderness:

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Cleanup : list of people under see also section needs work or moved

Proposed merge[edit]

Accessible wilderness does not seem to have much useful information. I'd wait for comments till 22nd November before carrying out the merger. Thanks, --Gurubrahma 12:15, 17 November 2005 (UTC)

Merge sounds fine to me or I could just take this and fold it into the Wilderness article and then we could do a redirect.--MONGO 04:30, 18 November 2005 (UTC)
Yeah, that is what a merge would mean - retaining Wilderness and converting Accessible wilderness into a re-direct. Let us wait till the 22nd for more comments and suggestions. --Gurubrahma 11:36, 18 November 2005 (UTC)

Result = merge. Sunray (talk)


I uploaded a couple of PD images, but they are of the same wilderness...nice if we could get some from outside the U.S. or at least from other areas in the U.S. to compliment these. In many cases, they are somewhat hard to find...but maybe a desert scene as that is oftentimes the type of scene found in a wilderness, at least that's true in the U.S.--MONGO 04:04, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Thanks Mongo, I had a quick search for desert images, but no luck yet. Have replaced one of the US images with at least an Australian rainforest image. Am leaving the one I removed here though. As this article expands, it would be good to include more.

I think it would be good if we could have some pictures of European wildernesses. I am sure there are some good ones of Polish forests. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Correctus2kX (talkcontribs) 20:38, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Four Corners (Canada)[edit]

Have adjusted the structure and no longer am finding room for this sentence - its out of place - but leaving it here in case someone want to pick it up and expand:

"A vast area of northern Canada has very few people. For example, there are no roads for miles surrounding the Four Corners of Canada." Jtneill - Talk 11:50, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

Worldwide view[edit]

I've been working on addressing the "limited geographic scope" tag. Although conservation was "invented" in North America, we who live there tend to think that because we "discovered" the inherent value of wilderness in the 19th century that we are the world leaders in conservation. I'm addressing this in three ways: 1) to show traditions in other cultures that have respected nature, 2) to add to the history so that it doesn't begin in the U.S., and 3) to start to provide data on worldwide efforts to preserve wilderness. Hope this works. Please jump in with assistance or comments as the spirit moves you. Sunray 21:00, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

wilderness vs nature[edit]

Man's relationship with wilderness is a more narrow subject then the relationship with nature.The preceding unsigned comment was added by KAM (talk) 12:13, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Well said. It is my sense that one is nested within the other (Nature --> Wilderness). I tried to get at it with the quote from Shih Erh Chi "places made inaccessible by nature." This needs work, I know, and any assistance would be most welcome. Sunray 15:20, 21 May 2006 (UTC)

Here is the reading list I started with; I liked Judd's grass-roots approach, here is a sample . In the U.S. views of wilderness seem to be from Romanticism and from the western frontier. Lloyd C. Irland points out Americas love of tall trees and big waterfalls, He points out the first "wilderness" saved was the spectacular, no swamp was saved until 1940 and to this day no grassland is designated. Also the Wikipedia articles about the early U.S. parks the native Americans some how quietly disappear. KAM 12:52, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

There is another point of view about wilderness that seem to be common in Europe: Wilderness as a social construction. That is, wilderness is what people think it is. I suppose that would be common in areas where there isn't much wilderness. In Canada it is hard to accept that approach, particularly for those who have ever been lost in the wilderness (there is so much of it). That reality may be close to how First Nations/Native Americans view wilderness, I think. It would be good to add some perspective that includes the First Nations. Sunray 15:09, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

"Ecologists consider wilderness areas to be an integral part of the planet's self-sustaining natural ecosystem (the biosphere)." Can this be verified? Also "The idea of wilderness having intrinsic value emerged in the Western world in the 1800s" In the Bible God leads Jesus into the Wilderness for 40 days where he encountered Satan. Why the wilderness? Third; a section or mention on Wilderness Management? which leads to "The Wilderness Management Paradox. KAM 15:05, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

This whole section seems more like someone's opinion, it needs sources before being added.

21st century wilderness thought takes this point further by addressing the fact that man has ALWAYS affected the landscape and natural cycles. There is no place on earth that has not been affected by humans in one way or another. This does not mean just in the 20th century--humans have been affecting and influencing nature for thousands of years. The question then is this: what is a wilderness? Does wilderness truly exist as we define it? Did wilderness EVER exist as we define it? This concept comes at strong contrast to the wilderness concepts of the late 1800's that came to fruition in the 1960's. For example, early pioneers to Minnesota saw its prairies as "wilderness untouched by the hand of man." Yet the indians in Minnesota had been buring the prairie for thousands of years to keep trees from growing so they could hunt game easier. Thus, the Minnesota prairies were in no way shape or form a true untouched "wilderness."

This concept is related to today, where lands are left alone to be "wilderness." Yet things such as animal population control and fire do not always work as they should when the wilderness is a small pocket of land. Without human intrusion to intentionally set periodic fires to keep the forest floor clear (many plants and trees require fire to germinate--no fire, no trees) a forest cannot function as it was designed. Also, animal populations can explode due to lack of predators and inadvertantly destroy their food supplies and the forest itself. Then humans must intervene by hunting the animals and starting fires...which then means that we are influencing the landscape, and thus the landscape is no longer a wilderness.

Much of the origial 1960's view of wilderness orginitated from the wilderness views of the late 1800's. The views of the late 1800's were based on what the land looked like in the pioneer days, as it was considered wilderness since white man had not intruded upon it. If land looked like it did in 1850, then it was considered a "wilderness." So all environmental movements have been trying to create wilderness by managing land to make them look like they did in the early 1800's. Unsettled landscape in the early 1800's is considered the promordial landscape. The paradox of this is that landscapes are CONSTANTLY changing throughout time. Thus, if land was left alone and untouched, just because the land looked one way in 1815, does not mean that it would have looked exactly the same in 2006. Fires come in, landslides occur, disease destroys forests, animals come in and change the make-up of the landscape...anything can happen. Thus, trying to make wilderness look like the land did in the early 1800's is somewhat foolish. Landscapes do not "freeze frame" and stay the same, they change over time. Thus, we do not know what a wilderness should even look like. We don't know how a wilderness landscape should work or function. Trying to keep landscapes as they were in the 1800's is impossible and not what happens in nature. Understanding this is a fundamental tenant of 21st century wilderness thought. ....Moved from article by KAM 13:35, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

"Ecologists consider wilderness areas to be an integral part of the planet's self-sustaining natural ecosystem (the biosphere)." Is this true of all ecologists? Some explaination on why this is true is needed. Some areas need to be set aside as wilderness or the planet can not self-sustain? KAM 12:52, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

The Sphere of Human Influence[edit]

The notion that no place on earth remains "untouched", in the sense of human influence, seems significant here, especially in the last section. Someone has even written it (uncited) into the article:

"Most scientists and conservationists[by whom?] agree that no place on earth is completely untouched by humanity, either due to past occupation by indigenous people, or through global processes such as climate change." (17:01, 5 March 2009 by Mr Bell)

I would agree that this is mostly true: Most places on Earth have come under human influence. It is not difficult, however, to think of places that haven't, like unexplored portions of caves, portions of ancient uninhabitable deserts, and some deep sea habitats. It bothers me that this edit has remained untouched since 2009. Links to the Manual of Style don't belong in an introduction, in my opinion. I recommend that this notion about human influence be attributed to the urban/first-world contemporary intuition about nature, and not to a scientific (or conservationist... lol) one, and then that the justification of this notion be given, and possibly that counterexamples to this notion be presented, like caves or deserts. (talk) 22:27, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Merge from Wildland[edit]

Wildland is a term that appears often in wildfire firefighting practices (see Wildland fire suppression), but I'm under the impression that Wilderness and Wildland are one and the same. Thoughts? MrBell (talk) 20:19, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

Merged. MrBell (talk) 17:21, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Merge from Wilderness area[edit]

Wilderness area's lead states, "A wilderness area is a region where the land is in a natural state; where impacts from human activities are minimal—that is, as a wilderness." That sounds like just another definition for wilderness which should be merged into this article. Thoughts? MrBell (talk) 17:27, 23 February 2009 (UTC)

Merged. MrBell (talk) 17:22, 5 March 2009 (UTC)


outdoors and outdoor goes to Environment (biophysical) and Wilderness. Just a note. (talk) 00:26, 21 October 2009 (UTC)

About edit of section "Extent"[edit]

The original sentence read "It should be noted that the percentage of land area designated "wilderness" does not reflect "quality" of remaining wilderness, part of which is barren areas with low biodiversity.", which implies that high quality wilderness == high biodiversity. Since lands and ecosystems vary so much both in and out of wilderness areas, I think it is simpler to say, per my correction, "It should be noted that the percentage of land area designated "wilderness" does not necessarily reflect a measure of wilderness biodiversity.". There is much more one could say on this issue, but it would need a new section. Thecrater (talk) 19:41, 11 April 2013 (UTC) thecrater

Proposal for expansion in definition[edit]

Wilderness definition as it appears in the lead section is correct, but I propose to expand it to include the concept of wilderness areas that are established by administrative action by governments, as is the case in USA. My proposal is as follow.

Some governments establish wild areas by law or administrative acts, usually in land tracts that have not been modified by human action in great measure. The main feature of them is that human activity is restricted significantly. These actions seek not only to preserve what already exists, but also to promote and advance a natural expression and development.

I think that this definition is sufficiently supported by the information contained in the article, particularly the section "Formal Wilderness Designation".--Auró (talk) 16:33, 29 July 2014 (UTC)

I agree. I would only make a grammatical change by substituting "wild areas" for "them" at the beginning of the second sentence. Thecrater (talk) 17:51, 29 July 2014 (UTC)