The Wildlands Project [Home Page]
Summary of The Wildlands Project
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  • The goal of the Wildlands Project is to set aside approximately fifty (50) percent of the North American continent (Turtle Island) as "wild land" for the preservation of biological diversity.
  • The project seeks to do this by creating "reserve networks" across the continent. Reserves are made up of the following:
    • Cores, created from public lands such as National Forest and Parks
    • Buffers, often created from private land adjoining the cores to provide additional protection
    • Corridors, a mix of public and private lands usually following along rivers and wildlife migration routes
  • The primary characteristics of core areas are that they are large (100,000 to 25 million acres), and allow for little, if any, human use.
  • The primary characteristics of buffers are that they allow for limited human use so long as they are "managed with native biodiversity as a preeminent concern."
  • Moral and ethical guidelines for the Wildlands Project are based on the philosophy of Deep Ecology.
  • The eight point platform of Deep Ecology can be summarized as follows:
    • All life (human and non-human) has equal value.
    • Resource consumption above what is needed to supply "vital" human needs is immoral.
    • Human population must be reduced
    • Western civilization must radically change present economic, technological, and ideological structures.
    • Believers have an obligation to try to implement the necessary changes.
  • The Wildlands Project itself is supported by hundreds of groups working towards its long-term implementation. Implementation may take 100 years or more.
  • The Wildlands Project has received millions of dollars in support from wealthy private and corporate foundations such as the Turner Foundation, Patagonia, W. Alton Jones Foundation, Lyndhurst Foundation, etc.

Conclusion:
The Wildlands Project exist within legal boundaries, however that should not prevent us from being concerned. At the very least, it advocates an extreme manifestation of environmental and public policy. Therefore, any claim the Wildlands Project makes toward public policy must be debated, and ultimately decided, in the public arena. Yet to date it has existed almost anonymously; beyond the knowledge of the wider public. It must be examined out from behind the cover of more general environmental concerns, held up for public scrutiny, and either accepted or rejected by a public fully aware of its implications. Failing to do so could have dire consequences, for as John Adams once wrote, "Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge by the people."


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