We all look at nature as something in its original state. State and national parks are key examples for us. I say ‘for us’ as it depends on how it is perceived. My nature philosophers have actually accused the wildernesses we have today as merely ‘products’ or culture and/or society. Why? Because we have shaped it.
The parks we have to set aside the wildernesses we have, technically haven’t been untouched. In the early times of America, the wilderness that was finally starting to become something of recreation became a place of elites to go and carve their way into the ‘nature’ they wished to see. Since then, we have flooded these ‘sanctuaries’ with trails, roads, cable cars, ski resorts, camping venues and so much more. We tell ourselves that they are ‘saved from society’ as we look at it being safe from the biggest and obvious parts of dangers–loggers, businesses etc. But, we don’t look at the tiny things that threaten the wilderness to be a ‘pure wilderness’ and that is, our culture.
Our culture has indeed made going out and getting in touch with our ‘wild’ sides that we all have. It has allowed from the smallest of children, to the disabled, to the elderly to access it. We have guides, GPSs, and so much more to encourage people to visit their local wildernesses. But, look at it from the nature’s point of view. Everything it creates and the adaptations it has had to do for itself has our hands all over the evidence. The trails are now ‘maintained’ instead of letting nature create its own trails by paths of animals. The open lands, kept open and flat due to large camping traffic. We have portable bathrooms, we have parking lots, RV parking, and so much more.
The next time you want to go out into the wilderness, try to think of the impact you have on it. Look at my last blog and try to slow down this transformation of our wildernesses turning into a product of society.
Really try to find a pure wilderness.