As we gaze into the mirror it holds up for us, we too easily imagine that what we behold is Nature when in fact we see the reflection of our own unexamined longings and desires.
For this reason, we mistake ourselves when we suppose that wilderness can be the solution to our culture’s problematic relationships with the nonhuman world, for wilderness is itself no small part of the problem.
But by the end of the nineteenth century, all this had changed.
The wastelands that had once seemed worthless had for some people come to seem almost beyond price.
For many Americans wilderness stands as the last remaining place where civilization, that all too human disease, has not fully infected the earth.