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Physical and Environmental Geography

Colby College

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Conceptualizing Wilderness Through Gis, Sarah Stevens Jan 2007

Conceptualizing Wilderness Through Gis, Sarah Stevens

Undergraduate Research Symposium (UGRS)

The word “wilderness” in America is generally identified with pristine places where humans are not among the primary influences on the land and its ecology. The American wilderness ethic creates a strict dichotomy between humans and nature. The Wilderness Preservation Act of 1964 defines wilderness as “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain” (wilderness.net). This statutory definition of wilderness is essentially the functional embodiment of the American wilderness ethic. Wilderness can also be interpreted in ways that incorporate humans as active players ...