This title features writings from the battlefront of ideas over nature and wildness. Ten years ago, ""The Great New Wilderness Debate"" began a cross-disciplinary conversation about the varied constructions of 'wilderness' and the controversies that surrounded them. ""The Wilderness Debate Rages On"" will reinvigorate that conversation and usher in a second decade of debate.Like its predecessor, the book gathers both critiques and defenses of the idea of wilderness from a wide variety of perspectives and voices. ""The Wilderness Debate Rages On"" includes the best work done on the concept of wilderness over the past decade, underappreciated essays from the early twentieth century that offer an alternative vision of the concept and importance of wilderness, and writings meant to clarify or rethink the concept of wilderness. Narrative writers such as Wendell Berry, Scott Russell Sanders, Marilynne Robinson, Kathleen Dean Moore, and Lynn Laitala are also given a voice in order to show how the wilderness debate is expanding outside the academy.The writers represented in the anthology include ecologists, environmental philosophers, conservation biologists, cultural geographers, and environmental activists. The book begins with little-known papers by early twentieth-century ecologists advocating the preservation of natural areas for scientific study, not, as did Thoreau, Muir, and the early Leopold, for purposes of outdoor recreation. The editors argue that had these writers influenced the eventual development of federal wilderness policy, our national wilderness system would better serve contemporary conservation priorities for representative ecosystems and biodiversity.
Michael P. Nelson is an associate professor of environmental ethics and philosophy at Michigan State University. He is affiliated with the Lyman Briggs College, the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, and the philosophy department. J. Baird Callicott is a professor of philosophy at the University of North Texas. Nelson and Callicott are coeditors of The Great New Wilderness Debate (Georgia) and coauthors of American Indian Environmental Ethics: An Ojibwa Case Study.