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"Man's conquest of the natural world is almost complete." - Elf M. Sternberg
"Man's conquest of the natural world is almost complete."
One of the signs we saw while we were in the national park read:

Wilderness is a special, wild place where nature dominates and you are the visitor. You are entering public land set aside by Congress to remain wilderness forever. Keep the Wild in Wilderness!

Wilderness 10 mi. long & @ 4 mi. wide
I find this sign to be completely depressing. First, start with the whole "set aside by Congress to be wilderness forever." We all know just how reliable Congress has been in keeping its word about these things; I have no doubt that if Mitt Romney won and Republicans took both houses, this place would be sold off to the highest bidding private interest in less time than it takes Mitt Romney to make what I make in a year. (For the record, that's 1 day, 15 minutes, and 51 seconds.)

Secondly, "Wilderness is 10 miles long and 4 miles wide." That's it. The whole state was once "wilderness," but now it's a patch the size of a postage stamp, 40 square miles out of the 71,000 square miles it used to be. Wilderness isn't the natural state of affairs: it's an exception, a touristy place, a place you "visit."

Man's conquest of the natural world is almost complete. There is no "nature" anymore; just carefully tended parks where a semblance of wildness is maintained for your experiential pleasure. The struggle to get there may take some effort (15 mile hiking trails are not for the "Average American"), but then you can hipsterishly proclaim you've been to places no one else has ever heard of.

Current Mood: melancholy melancholy

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shunra From: shunra Date: August 5th, 2012 07:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

Your points are valid but. Olympic National Park.

It is rather larger and indeed, one can visit it. It's about 1440 square miles.

I hope we can keep it.
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