In this issue of the IJW, Kevin Proescholdt presents events and milestones of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, the most visited unit in the US National Wilderness Preservation System. David Parsons contributes to the Wilderness Digest with News from the Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute. Parsons describes how science is essential for understanding and managing wilderness areas, and in turn how wilderness provides opportunities to scientifically explore (relatively) pristine areas.
In this issue’s Soul of the Wilderness article, David Cole addresses the conflicting, desirable and important values of wilderness: wild, natural, un-crowded and free. John Shultis contributes commentary on how humans, while ultimately fearing that technology will destroy man-kind, increasingly rely on technological innovations to enjoy wilderness experiences. Ken Cordell and Jerry Stokes provide a perspective from the Forest Service on the social value of wilderness.
Luna Leopold, son of Aldo Leopold, contribute to this issues Soul of the Wilderness. He talks about the experience of fear in a wild-landscape, and the clarity this provides in the context of modern life, science and technology. A team of authors (Arsuffi et. al.) provide a stewardship article on the San Marcos River Wetlands Projects, including restoration efforts and environmental education projects.
A very interesting study is featured in the Science and Research section of this IJW. “Health-Related Knowledge and Preparedness of High-Altitude Wilderness Hikers in Colorado,” surveyed 126 hikers in Rocky Mountain National Park as to their knowledge of common wilderness-related illnesses and their level of preparedness for these issues. A large percentage of those interviewed were not prepared or knowledgeable about high-altitude risks. The majority of respondents were not adequately acclimated to the altitude prior to beginning their excursion.
In the International Perspectives of this IJW, Andrew Muir describes Imbewu and the Opinion Leader Programmes of the Wilderness Leadership School. Both of these programs are aimed to rekindle the bond between South Africans and their land, a bond alienated by policies of colonization and apartheid. Also in this issue, John Shultis reviews two books: “Wilderness by Design: Landscape Architecture & the National Park Service,” by Ethan Carr; and “Building the National Parks: Historic Landscape Design and Construction,” by Linda Flint McClelland.
Keith Kilbrun presents highlights from a Wilderness Therapy Conference at the University of Idaho in “Wilderness for Healing and Growing People.” And, Kenton Miller contributes to International Perspectives with commentary on the ecological services provided by wilderness and how these services support natural and human communities. He emphasizes that “For long-term survival, and therefore service to people and nature, these key sites (protected areas) need to be established and managed within a network of reserves connected by biodiversity-friendly corridors.”