Questions on wilderness oral presentation readings
1. Explain the argument that says rather than keeping our hands off wilderness areas what they need is more hands on management. What are some examples of active human management that are being done to protect wild areas and species. Why is this a problem for the idea of wilderness?
2. What is U.S. Wilderness Act’s definition of wilderness? (Hint: ...where the earth and it’s community of life is ....where man is a .....”
3. Describe Douglas Tompkins efforts to set aside large tracks of land in Argentina as nature reserves. Describe some of the opposition he faces and reasons for this opposition. Are they justifiable? Is what Tompkins is doing a good thing overall?
4. Thompkins self-identifies as a “deep ecologist,” and says: “Environmental problems arise from the mistaken notion that humans come first. They have to come second. This has not sunk into the political and social leadership.” Assess this perspective from your own point of view.
5. John Perry argues that “Though the wilderness ought to be preserved, perhaps the concept of wilderness should be jettisoned.” Does his claim make sense? What does he think is wrong with the concept of wilderness. Does “untrammeled” mean “untouched”?
6. Explain this claim and then evaluate it from your own perspective: “A designated, managed wilderness is, in a very important, a contradiction in terms.” Tie this in with the idea that the root of the term ‘wilderness’ means “self-willed land.”
7. Evaluate this interaction from your own perspective:
a. “What has replaced naturalness as a guiding philosophy of what to do or not do?” I asked David Graber, chief scientist for the National Park Service’s Pacific West Region . . . “We have nothing,” he answered, his voice flat.
b. Do we need an alternative to naturalness as a guiding philosophy in national parks? Why might someone think we do? Why might someone deny that naturalness is no longer important or useful policy guide? What do you think?
8. Is there a significant value difference between intentionally manipulating/influencing a natural or wilderness area (by say removing non-native species) and non-intentionally influence a natural or wilderness area (by climate change)? Explain the idea that rejects a hands off policy of wilderness management by claiming “doing nothing is still doing something.” Do you agree?
9. What is rewilding? Give an example.
10. George Monbiot argues for rewilding both nature and human life (and in fact thinks they are related). Do you think human life needs to be “rewilded” because we suffer from “ecological boredom?” Would nine-foot long sabertooth salmon in the Cooper river be a good thing? How about wolves in the Francis Marion Forest (the 250,000 acre National Forest less than 30 minutes from Charleston)
11. According to Monbiot, what is the end goal of rewilding? What sort of ecosystems does rewilding aim to produce? (This is a trick question.)