Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: October 22, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412956260 | Print ISBN: 9781412916523 | Online ISBN: 9781412956260| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The Wilderness Act of 1964 defines wilderness as an area where the earth and its ecosystems are not subdued or harmed by man, where man is a visitor who does not remain. In the United States, and throughout the world, wilderness is important for human recreation and economic development as well as for the protection of ecological systems. In this respect, the consumption of wilderness is necessary for human progress and prosperity, but the preservation of wilderness as wilderness is also vital. The modern notion of wilderness emerged during the 18th and 19th centuries from Romantic writers and artists who were inspired by the beauty of nature and from Enlightenment writers and philosophers who contrasted the potential of rational human society with the harsh forces of the natural world. New England Transcendentalists praised nature for its profound simplicity, sustaining elegance, and its essential lessons for human life. Concurrently, the Industrial ...