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How valid are future generations' arguments for preserving wilderness?Author(s): Thomas A. More; James R. Averill; Thomas H. Stevens
Source: In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 2: Wilderness within the context of larger systems; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 81-85
Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
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DescriptionWe are often urged to preserve wilderness for the sake of future generations. Future generations consist of potential persons who are mute stakeholders in the decisions of today. Many claims about the rights of future generations or our present obligations to them have been vigorously advanced and just as vigorously denied. Recent theorists, however, have argued for a communitarian basis for these obligations, which emphasizes the need future generations will have for clean air, water, biodiversity, and the like. Such a move denies the traditional, liberal, anthropocentric reasons for wilderness preservation and sets up particular criteria for which lands should be preserved. In this paper, we review the arguments about future generations in relation to wilderness preservation. We conclude that these arguments are overly general and lack a solid rational base, making future generations arguments susceptible to misuse.
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CitationMore, Thomas A.; Averill, James R.; Stevens, Thomas H. 2000. How valid are future generations'' arguments for preserving wilderness?. In: McCool, Stephen F.; Cole, David N.; Borrie, William T.; O’Loughlin, Jennifer, comps. 2000. Wilderness science in a time of change conference—Volume 2: Wilderness within the context of larger systems; 1999 May 23–27; Missoula, MT. Proceedings RMRS-P-15-VOL-2. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 81-85
Keywordswilderness, preservation, future generations
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