Cory Graham
Wilderness, from A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
GEOG 111 Section 004
December 2, 2005
In this chapter titled “Wilderness,” the author is discussing how man has tampered with what was originally created by Mr. Almighty, named wilderness. He is also discussing issues surrounding the preservation, adversaries, exhaustion, and the breaking down of wilderness for the transportation and industrialization of today’s society. The author mentioned how some certain values of wilderness should be preserved that can be lost and never found. The author argues, some parts of wilderness many of us will be able to view, but things like prairie flowers by the thousands, virgin pineries of the Lake States, and huge hardwoods shall never be seen again. Mr. Leopold speaks about the shrinking coastlines, a category of wilderness. Coastlines have a special place in history and they are disappearing the most rapidly. He talks about how National Parks and Forests need to be handled with care since there are a limited supply left, for the people to view. Early and recent developments like the fishing resort and the separation of National Forest from State forest in Minnesota, have threatened the disintegration of some areas. Tourist roads and public highways move in on federal areas reserved for the beautiful views, and are starting to take over. The author talks about how during war times the shortage of lumber was a gateway for new roads to clear out the trees, but now ski-resorts are built where wilderness use to reside. He also states that Canada and Alaska have wilderness areas that have never been named and should stay like that as long as possible. Wilderness for recreation has annihilated numerous acres of wilderness for games and athletic sports. In the early days wilderness was only used to support family’s and pioneer’s travel, but now simple sport has taken over rivers, lakes, streams and natural public wilderness.

Wilderness areas are important for vast reasons. First, history is sculpted through some regions and areas of wilderness. National, state, local Parks and Forests have multiple trees and animals that have roamed earth for thousand’s of years, can’t be replaced or seen other places. Trees help clean the environment and the air we breathe in. Trees also produce paper, heat homes and are used as shade on hot summer days. We need as many trees as possible. Soil is equally important. Soil is needed to grow the agricultural products all species feed on. The soil’s structure controls drainage, rooting of the plants and other necessities to maintain a healthy land. The author says “The art of land doctoring is being practiced with vigor, but the science of land health is yet to be born,” this quote means that people don’t realize what they had was important or good until it is no longer their. According to the bible, the lord created all man and earth so I believe anything the lord created man should do as less dismay as possible.

From my prospective, Leopold feels very deep and passionate about natural areas. From reading this chapter, Leopold has brief arguments about how man has tampered, demolished, run-over, ignored preservation, and has basically been ignorant of what wilderness should be. Certain areas of wilderness have been lost to recreation and sport that could have been cherished or left alone. Although many natural areas have to be made in to roads, resorts, tourist attractions, homes, etc., taking care of the remainder of our land should be a necessity to all of us pioneers of the wilderness.

Natural areas have been changed in a few ways. Much of our grassy plain areas have been devoured by our livestock in order to maintain humans eating habits. Due to projects and programs, forest areas have had to suffice. Some of the most oldest living trees in our country have been cut without the knowledge or being knowledgeable of what they mean to history. National Parks integrity has been threatened by developments that are people’s wants, nothing that had to be done in order to live. Disease has changed the face of herded areas of wilderness. Wolves, cougars, and bears have been more prone to disease due to the elk or the species in which they feed on. This has changed habitats, food-chains, and communities of the wilderness. I feel similar and different to the views of the author. The preservation of wilderness

has its ups and downs. Many areas have been taken over by road transportation, predators of the wilderness, fishing resorts and forest fires, these beasts could not be stopped. These are only some dimensions in which the wilderness has been reused. Many land owners and crop growers are not aware of the dependency of certain

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