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"From Classical to Urban Wilderness"
Essay exploring the history of "wilderness" as a driving concept in U.S. history; by Andrew Light, Philosophy Dept., University of Alberta, in The Trumpeter: Journal of Ecosophy, 1992.
"Wilderness: A Western Concept Alien to Arctic Cultures"
Thought-provoking article that addresses the question "Is a marriage of the Western concept of wilderness with indigenous peoples' views of the land possible?"; by David Klein, professor and senior scientist at the Alaska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, University of Alaska, Fairbanks; originally published in Information North, September 1994, by the Arctic Institute of North America.
Bibliography on the Wilderness Idea
Scroll to the section "Culture" for titles on wilderness and the wilderness idea in this extensive online bibliography from Professor Carolyn Merchant, University of California, Berkeley.
Ten brief quotations on the concept of wilderness, from the course "American Cultural and Environmental History" of Professor Carolyn Merchant, University of California, Berkeley.
What Is Wilderness?
Panorama and questions from the course "American Cultural and Environmental History" (see above).
Wilderness Information Network
Wilderness education and management resources, maps, FAQs, current issues, and more, from the four federal agencies that manage U.S. wilderness lands -- Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management. A selection of useful pages is presented below (since the site guide does not list all the educational resources on the site).
National Wilderness Preservation System
Wilderness in the News
Recent news stories from a variety of newspapers and other periodicals, listed in chronological order and searchable by keyword.
Recent statements, policy positions, and similar publications from the federal agencies.
Over 250 research publications online, searchable by keyword and author.
Wilderness in the American Context
Brief readings from this online course provided by Wilderness Information Network that offers "a broad perspective of what wilderness is and how the idea developed,"
The Wilderness Concept-- Our National Parks, History and Issues.
A secondary-level unit with a content overview, activity outline, and student and teacher bibliographies, prepared as a project with the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute.
The People and Philosophy Behind Our National Parks: A Biographical Curriculum Unit
Another unit from the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute (see above).
William Bradford, Of Plimouth Plantation, 1620-1647, full text and excerpts.
--Full text, from the Internet History Sourcebook Project founded by Dr. Paul Halsell, Fordham University.
--Chapters 1, 2, 4, 9, from the American Studies Program, University of Virginia.
--Introduction and brief excerpts, from Pilgrim Hall Museum.
--Misc. excerpts, including Bradford's account of Morton's Merry Mount maypole incident, from online documents for a course of Dr. Bruce Dorsey, Swarthmore College
Thomas Morton, "Revels in New Canaan."
Morton's account in New English Canaan (1637) of the Merry Mount maypole incident, from online documents for a course of Dr. Bruce Dorsey, Swarthmore College.
Michael Wigglesworth, "God's Controversy with New England," 1662.
Wigglesworth's poem chastising the New England Puritans for their loss of godliness, from online documents for a course of Prof. Bruce Dorsey, Swarthmore College.
Jonathan Edwards, "Beauty of the World," 1758.
Full text of Edwards's sermon with a proto-Transcendentalist view of nature; from the website JonathanEdwards.com, an extensive collection organized by founder Mark Trigsted.
"Jonathan Edwards' Sublime Book of Nature"
Article on Edwards's views on nature, as influenced by Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding" and reflected later by Emerson, Thoreau, and Muir; by Gordon L. Miller, an independent scholar, in History Today, July 1996, on the site findarticles.com.
Other Online Puritan Texts from the Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Nature," 1849
Full text from the site Ralph Waldo Emerson - Texts, founded by Jone Johnson Lewis, an Ethical Culture leader and Unitarian-Universalist minister.
Thoreau, Walden, and the Environment
Wide-ranging resources from a consortium including The Thoreau Home Page and three nonprofit organizations, the Walden Woods Project, the Thoreau Society, and the Thoreau Institute. Consult the site map (which does not have active links, unfortunately) at http://www.walden.org/site_navigation/map/Default.asp.
Henry David Thoreau, "Wild Fruits"
Full text, with reviews, articles, and other background information; the quote from "Huckleberries" is in Section Six at http://www.walden.org/thoreau/writings/fruits/Fruits_06.htm;
from the site Thoreau, Walden, and the Environment (see above).
Henry David Thoreau, "Walking, or the Wild," 1862
Full text with annotations on the site The Thoreau Reader (separate from The Thoreau Home Page above).
John Muir, Virtual Exhibit from the Sierra Club
A virtual library and museum as well as an online exhibit, this tribute to John Muir is presented by the
Sierra Club, of which he was a cofounder and the first president.
John Muir, Journal Articles
Click "Bibliographic Search" on this page, then enter "Muir" in the first line to access 17 journal articles by John Muir, including "The Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West," Atlantic Monthly,
January 1898, at
From the digital collection Making of America from the University of Michigan.
A brief biography and chronology on the site of the Aldo Leopold Foundation.
The environmental group founded by Aldo Leopold and other activists in 1935, with a brief history at
Return to "Wilderness and American Identity" Links to Online
the essay, The Puritan Origins of the American Wilderness Movement
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