Protecting the Wild:
Parks and Wilderness, the Foundation for Conservation

Protected natural areas historically have been conservationists’ primary tool to save land and wildlife. Parks and reserves set apart to remain forever wild stand in stark contrast to those places where the human activity, technology, and development prevails. But even as the biodiversity crisis accelerates, a growing number of voices are suggesting that protected areas are passé. Conservation, they argue, should instead focus on lands managed for human use—“working landscapes”—and abandon the goal of preventing human-caused extinctions in favor of maintaining “ecosystem services” to support people.

Protecting the Wild offered a spirited rebuttal, instead calling for a dramatic expansion of protected areas. Experts from five continents reaffirmed that parks, wilderness areas, and other reserves are an indispensable—albeit insufficient—means to sustain species, subspecies, key habitats, ecological processes, and evolutionary potential. Using case studies from around the globe, the volume argued that protected areas are crucial for biodiversity and human wellbeing, vital to countering anthropogenic extinctions and climate change. A companion volume to Keeping the Wild, Protecting the Wild provided a necessary addition to the conversation about the future of conservation in the so-called Anthropocene.

Contributors: Edited by George Wuerthner, Eillen Crist, and Tom Butler; with essays from Marc Bekoff, Elizabeth L. Bennett, Tim Caro, Carlos Cuevas, John Davis, Daniel F. Doak, Marc J. Dourojeanni, Brock Evans, Kathleen H. Fitzgerald, Curtis H. Freese, Jane Goodall, Karsten Heuer, Michael J. Kellett, Helen Kopnina, Harvey Locke, Douglas J. McCauley, George Monbiot, Reed F. Noss, Mikhail Paltsyn, Spencer R. Phillips, Barbara Promberger, Christoph Promberger, Richard P. Reading, Christof Schenck, Anthony R. E. Sinclair, Martin Taylor, Douglas R. Tompkins, and Emily Wakild.

Published in 2015 by the Foundation for Deep Ecology, distributed by Island Press.