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In this environmental call to action, Laura and Guy Waterman look beyond preserving the ecology of the backcountry to focus on what they call its spiritual dimension--its fragile, untamed wildness. Without some management, wildness cannot survive the number of people who seek to enjoy it, they write. But with too much management, or the wrong kind, we can destroy the spiritual component of wildness in our zeal to preserve its physical side. Trailside huts and lodges, large groups seeking wilderness experiences, federal and state regulations, and technology such as radios, cell phones, global positioning devices, and emergency helicopters, all have an impact on our experience. With humor and insight, the Watermans explore these difficult wilderness management issues. They ask us to evaluate the impact that even environmentally conscious values have on the wilderness experience, and to ask the question: What are we trying to preserve?
Publication Date: 
June 1, 1992