“Wilderness is hard on our economy.”
I recently heard those words coming from an elected official in Idaho during an NPR story on the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
Unfortunately, his words express a common belief.
For too long, environmentalism and conservation have been focused on saving nature for its intrinsic value. We talk about endangered species and national parks, and worry about the state of the world’s coral reefs. We don’t really talk much about people except almost as an afterthought. In some instances, we’ve even allowed our efforts to be framed as favoring nature at the expense of people.