Ah, blessed wilderness. May it live forever. But why? What for? What good is wilderness? What do we need it for? Well, I can’t speak for anybody else. I wouldn’t even try if I could. I can only speak for myself, as irrational and illogical and fanatical as I may sound. I trust others, at least a few others, know exactly what I’m trying to say.
I need wilderness because dammit I’m a living breathing human type wild animal who thrives on clean air and cold water and open space and mountains and sky and trees and silence and solitude and the realization that I don’t own and control this world anymore than the grizzly does or the moose does or the mountain goat does. It’s theirs too, and I welcome their company. I give them their space and they give me mine and we all get along just fine. It’s the doings of my own kind that tend to cause me grief. Doug Peacock I think it was, once said something to the effect that we all need wilderness because we all need places to go where there is the possibility of being eaten by something bigger and stronger than we are. Well said.
I need wilderness because I’m not a computerized robotized homogenized pasteurized socialized creature. I’m not domesticated. I haven’t been lobotomized by television. I’m immune to advertising. I don’t buy stuff. I don’t want stuff. I don’t do well on clock time. The only purpose a clock serves as far as I’m concerned is to remind me of some place I should have been an hour ago. I don’t do well with the same routine day after day after day. Working in an office would kill me. Besides, I’d probably look like an idiot in a suit. Wouldn’t know, because I’ve never owned one.
I don’t run on silicon chips. I don’t have a microprocessor for a soul. I’m not equipped with a hard drive. I don’t hum along to the tune of an electronic technological world. I may not be much — flesh and blood and about 135 pounds of gristle and gray hair, but I do know this. It’s the wilderness that feeds me. Mountains and rivers and lakes and rocks and trees and ice and snow and deserts and the raw, sometimes brutal forces of nature. Long live the wilderness. Long live the grizzly bear and rattlesnake. Long live those who will fight to protect it all. And may those short-sighted ones, those with limited vision and shrunken shriveled souls who would rape and plunder and pillage and destroy either for their own gain, well, may they suffocate in their own greed.