Without some management, the world's wilderness cannot survive the number of people who seek to enjoy it. But with too much management, or with the wrong kind, we will destroy the spiritual component of wilderness in our zeal to preserve its physical side. In Wilderness Ethics, Laura and Guy Waterman look beyond the ecology of the backcountry to the factors that make it "wild".
Improved trailside facilities, large groups seeking "wilderness experiences," technological supports such as cell phones and emergency helicopters, and even new regulations designed to preserve wild areas, have all had an impact on the way we experience the backcountry. With humor and insight, the Waterman's explore the most difficult wilderness management issues, asking us to evaluate the impact that even "environmentally conscious" values have on the wilderness experience, and to ask the question: what are we trying to preserve?