Walcher: ‘Rewilding’ the national parks

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by Greg Walcher, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow
As Appearing in the Daily Sentinel
We may have discovered, accidentally, a way to give the most radical environmental advocates what they want. We simply shut down the government, or at least part of it (the National Park Service).

The most elitist, anti-people concept is the “rewilding movement.” Put simply, it proposes to discontinue active management of public lands, so humans can live more with nature, rather than taking from it. The term “rewilding” dates from the 1990s, an attempt to change the terminology of wildlife conservation. Promoters said instead of just protecting existing ecosystems, we should re-introduce all the original predators (especially wolves, wolverines, and grizzlies), to restore a “wilder” state of nature. The original land management elitist was Joseph Sax, whose influential 1980 book “Mountains Without Handrails” argued that national parks should be preserved forever wild, not easily accessible for public recreation — and certainly no lodges, campgrounds, roads, or food service.

A superb writer named Dave Roos (How Stuff Works) explains how an adjunct idea called “human rewilding” has become part of the same movement.