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Publication Information

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Title: Planned diversity: The case for a system with several types of wilderness

Author: Cole, David N.;

Date: 2011

Source: International Journal of Wilderness. 17(2): 9-14.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: Although the U.S. Wilderness Act of 1964 legally designated only one type of wilderness, the full array of wilderness values might be better protected by setting aside several important and different types of wilderness. Wilderness serves many different needs, having multiple and varied values and purposes (Cordell et al. 2005). Although many assume that these values and purposes are congruent and that all can be provided in optimal measure in one type of wilderness, this is not the case. Wilderness values such as freedom and solitude are often in conflict (Seekamp and Cole 2009), as are values of wildness and naturalness (Cole 2001; Aplet and Cole 2010). Doing the "right" thing for one wilderness value is often the "wrong" thing for another. Therefore, a complex set of wilderness values is better optimized by maximizing different values in different places than by compromising among these values everywhere. Recognizing this, there has been a long history of interest in purposely planning for a diverse system of different types of wilderness areas. Although never successfully translated into legislation or policy, the case for planned diversity in wilderness is growing.

Keywords: wilderness, values

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Cole, David N. 2011. Planned diversity: The case for a system with several types of wilderness. International Journal of Wilderness. 17(2): 9-14.


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