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    Author(s): David N. Cole
    Date: 2005
    Source: International journal of wilderness. 11(2): 23-27, 10
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: Download Publication  (220 KB)


    The symbolic values of wilderness have been largely overlooked, compared with the ecological and experiential values of wilderness. The prominence of the word untrammeled as a descriptor of the wilderness ideal suggests that the primary general symbolic value of wilderness is as a symbol of a human–environment relationship characterized by restraint and humility. This value is compromised when wilderness is manipulated for human purposes. This article notes several ways in which the symbolic values of wilderness are mischaracterized and trivialized as being a matter of philosophy (as opposed to science), as being merely aesthetic, and as being only a temporary concern. Symbolic values need to be legitimized and better articulated so their importance can be fairly considered in attempts to prioritize management and to resolve discord between conflicting wilderness values.

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    Cole, David N. 2005. Symbolic values: the overlooked values that make wilderness unique. International journal of wilderness. 11(2): 23-27, 10


    symbolic values, wilderness, wilderness management

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