Course Readings

“Walking”  Henry David Thoreau

“Living Like Weasels”  Annie Dillard

“The Stone Horse” Barry Lopez

 “Black Women in the Wilderness” by Evelyn White

“Biodiversity” by E.O. Wilson

“Thinking like a Mountain” by Aldo Leopold

Visual Rhetoric: Analyzing Photographs by Anne Wysocki

Letter from Ansel Adams to Cedric Wright, June 10, 1937

The Trouble with Wilderness by William Cronon

Storytelling and Wonder by David Abram

An Organizing Framework for Wilderness Values by Bergstrom, Bowker, and Cordell

“The Wilderness Debate” by Roberts

“Wilderness” by Aldo Leopold

“Soul of the Wilderness” by Reed Noss

“The Wilderness Debate” by Kari Mosden

“The Land Ethic” by Aldo Leopold

One response to “Course Readings

  1. I believe that after our previous readings and discussions, combined with our out-of-class experiences and in reading “Wilderness” and “Soul of the Wilderness”, I have found that I am beginning to believe the human race is hopeless. In my mind, the war between the sides of preserving wilderness and using it for its resources is a conflict that will never end. With the world’s ever-increasing population comes a demand for resources that cannot be fulfilled in the world as we know it. Along with this demand comes a strong wish for further generations to have the same privileges that we do. This is simply impossible, especially with the extremely fallible nature of humankind. We are such an egocentric, self-serving species that we cannot look beyond our immediate needs to see the perpetuating cycle of destruction that we have created. The needs of other areas, as touched on in Leopold’s argument (recreation, science, and wildlife) are being ignored by the generally apathetic public of the United States. Citizens of our country typically have no direct contact with the issues themselves, so there is no need for them to get involved in anything directly. In turn, as Noss suggests, the very soul of the wilderness is being destroyed. However, I do not agree with Noss’ original notion that large areas of land need to be preserved to fulfill our needs. I think that the need should be met with more intelligent use of the remaining resources we have. This is more aligned with Noss’ adapted position, which I agree with wholeheartedly. I think both large and small land areas are vital to the sustenance of our world. As both authors discuss, I find it sad that our current state of threatened biodiversity is not top priority on many lists. The irreversible damage that we are moving toward will be devastating in unimaginable ways if we don’t heed the wise words of Leopold and Noss. My emerging ethic is affected directly by both of these readings through my new perceptive behavior. Both of these articles persuade me in different ways. Leopold’s writing urges me to look into the different areas that can be affected by our damaging nature, whereas Noss asks the reader to consider the permanence of our actions in relation to the rapidly disappearing wilderness. Ultimately, I have decided that change can only come through more widespread awareness among the general public. Even then, changes and improvements can only be done with the will of large groups of people. It is our job to be advocates and to practice what we preach.

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