Year of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Forest and Conservation Science
Department or School/College
College of Forestry and Conservation
Peter Landres, Christopher Preston, Dan Spencer, Natalie Dawson
Aldo Leopold, ecological restoration, Endangered Species Act, wilderness, Wilderness Act, wildness
University of Montana
Wilderness and wildness have long been essential values at the heart of American conservation. Both have played critical roles in the formation of environmental ethics, providing a conceptual foundation for the belief that the non-human natural world is valuable for its own sake (Nash, 2001). After grounding and inspiring much of 20th century environmentalism, their influence in the current century has grown increasingly tentative. The arrival of what some have called the “Anthropocene epoch” – a term meant to capture the planetary scale impacts of human activity – now threatens the continued viability and relevance of wilderness and wildness to contemporary conservation. The challenges facing wilderness advocates are both physical and conceptual. Anthropogenic climate change, pollution, and the looming mass extinction crisis are all impacting the biophysical elements of wilderness areas (Stephenson & Millar, 2012; Long & Biber, 2015; Ceballos et al., 2015). At the same time, a growing chorus of “new conservationists” are calling for the abandonment of wilderness and wildness as useful values for guiding conservation (Marris, 2015; Kareiva et al., 2012).
Kelly, Patrick Ram, "THE ENDURING IMPORTANCE OF WILDNESS: SHEPHERDING WILDERNESS THROUGH THE ANTHROPOCENE" (2018). Graduate Student Theses, Dissertations, & Professional Papers. 11143.
© Copyright 2018 Patrick Ram Kelly