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Little known outside of the environmental movement, The Wildlands Project is the most ambitious, and far reaching attempt yet to reinvent the North American continent according to ecologically correct guidelines. Under this proposal, 50 percent of North America would be preserved or restored to wilderness for the preservation of biological diversity. However implausible their goal may seem, The Wildlands Project is well developed, well organized, and well financed.
Based upon the work of freelance conservation biologist, Reed Noss, the cornerstone of the project consist of creating "reserve networks" across North America to provide vast areas of wildlife habitat. The goal is to maximize biological diversity across the landscape, unfortunately often at the expense of the human occupants.
The Wildlands Project requires not only a re-thinking of science, politics, land use, industrialization, and civilization, it also requires re-thinking humanity’s place in nature. It requires a new philosophical and spiritual foundation for western civilization. That foundation is the ecophilosophy of deep ecology. Deriving much of its ideology from Buddhism and Taoism, and the philosophy of Spinoza, deep ecology contends that science has little to tell us about living in harmony with the planet, and other non-human life forms.
With affiliates spread throughout North America, The Wildlands Project, thorough its literary extension Wild Earth magazine, educates and informs grassroots activist how to design reserve areas, do GIS mapping, and how to network with other activist. Some of these affiliates have received substantial sums in support of their work from both corporate and private foundations.
The ability of these activist to combine science and organization, and then to attract substantial funding, makes it possible for The Wildlands Project to influence public policy far beyond its current obscure status. Therefore it is important for decision makers and the public alike to understand what The Wildlands Project means when it claims to be, "Plotting a North American wilderness recovery strategy."
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