Without some management, the world's wilderness cannot survive the number of people who seek to enjoy it. But with too much management-or the wrong kind-we will destroy the spiritual component of wildness in our zeal to preserve its physical side. In Wilderness Ethics, Laura and Guy Waterman look beyond the ecology of the backcountry to the factors that make it "wild."
Improved trailside facilities, large groups seeking "wilderness experiences," technological supports such as radios and emergency helicopters, and even new regulations designed to preserve wild areas, have all had an impact on the way we experience the backcountry. With humor and insight, the Watermans explore the most difficult wilderness management issues.
In Backwoods Ethics, the companion volume to this book, the authors present a "new ethic" of low-impact hiking, camping, and alpine management. In Wilderness Ethics they ask us to evaluate the impact that even "environmentally conscious" values have on the wilderness experience, and to ask the question: what are we trying to preserve?