"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed...We need wilderness preserved-- as much of it as is still left, and as many kinds-- because it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed. The reminder and the reassurance that it is still there is good for our spiritual health even if we never once in ten years set foot in it. It is good for us when we are young, because of the incomparable sanity it can bring briefly, as vacation and rest, into our insane lives. It is important to us when we are old simple because it is there -- important, that is, simply as idea."Even those of us who struggle to accept romantic notions of wilderness are moved by appeals such as Stegner's. And with good reason.
-Wallace Stegner, 1960
Photo credit: Hungry Hyaena, 2009