Rethinking Wilderness.

nks will hinder the stewardship of wilderness areas in the future will help in showing how Cronon’s “rethinking of wilderness” can be effectively applied to solve the problems.

Naturalness is defined in different ways. It is described as characterizations of nature being apart from humans (Cole, 2012). Cole identifies problems with naturalness. The first challenge is its multiple meanings and hence leads to a different understanding to different peoples. To some people, being natural means lack of human effect, a place with little human influence (Cole, 2012). There are those that believe natural to be freedom from intentional human control while others sees it as a historical fidelity (Cole, 2012). However, the changes of ecosystem currently taking place means one has to be selective when relying on these meanings. Therefore, one has to choose between them to suit the prevailing conditions.

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The other challenge has been on the reasons for setting wilderness. Currently, there is no unifying reason as to why wilderness areas are set aside. This is because there have been diverse reasons for setting aside such areas. Some of the major reasons for protections include certain valued species, nostalgic landscapes, biological diversity, scenery, ecosystem services, and autonomous nature (Cole, 2012). However, with increasing knowledge, it has been found that it is difficult to achieve all the purpose in one ecosystem. For this reason, some have to be considered at the expense of others.

Cronon’s “rethinking of wilderness” offers a practical solution to the problems of naturalness. The essay argues that the problems can only be solved by realizing that man has always been in existence with the wilderness. Therefore, the notion that Wilderness is the only remaining place that has been free from civilization is unreal. The author notes wilderness has been a product of civilization (Cronon, 1995).

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