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Close-up of large tree with reddish, furrowed bark.

For the Wild, 8: Rediscovering Old-Growth Forests

Did European Colonizers really cut all the Eastern old-growth forest? If not, how much remains? These were questions posed by famed wilderness defender Dave Foreman while sitting by a campfire in the Sonoran Desert in the late 1980s. He was wondering aloud to John Davis—back then, a young apprentice, now a veteran wildlands explorer. Photo: Robert Llewellyn

Colorful, aerial view of braided rivers leading to snowcapped mountains.

For the Wild, 7: Giving Nature

NINETY-ONE YEARS HAVE PASSED since Chile’s first national park was established, and every full-term Chilean president since has expanded the country’s park system. When the presidential photo-op occurred during the recent administrations of Chilean presidents Sebastian Pinera and Ricardo Lagos, there also stood Douglas Tompkins—whose private philanthropy prompted the birth of Chile’s Yendegaia and Corcovado National Parks, among others. Photo: Antonio Vizcaíno

A fish with shiny skin and a purple tint jumps out of smooth water.

For the Wild, 6: Rewilding Our Hearts in the Rage of Humanity

I see “rewilding our hearts” as a dynamic personal journey and transformative exploration that not only fosters the development of corridors of coexistence and compassion for wild animals, but also facilitates connections between our hearts and our brains. In turn, these connections—or reconnections—result in actions that make the lives of animals better. Photo: David Moskowitz

A black wolf play-chasing a gray wolf on a beach with rugged coastline behind it

For the Wild, 5: Rewilding and Biodiversity

THE FOURTH CURRENT—along with Monumentalism, Biodiversity Conservation (including representation of ecosystems), and Island Biogeography—in the modern conservation movement is the idea of rewilding—the scientific argument for restoring big wilderness based on the regulatory roles of large predators. Photo: David Moskowitz

Closeup of a wolverine in the snow, showing large feet with long white claws.

For the Wild, 3: The Wildlands Vision, 1992

OUR VISION IS SIMPLE: we live for the day when Grizzly Bears in Chihuahua have an unbroken connection to Grizzlies in Alaska; when Gray Wolf populations are continuous from Mexico to Labrador; when vast unbroken forests and flowing plains again thrive and support pre-Columbian populations of plants and animals; when humans dwell with respect, harmony, and affection for the land; when we come to live no longer as strangers and aliens on this continent.

A large cougar sits in front of a rocky opening, sunlight casting an orange hue over her and the rocks

For the Wild, 2: Saving Our Wild Earth

TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, as a fledgling lawyer in Seattle, I cut my conservation teeth on the great timber wars of the Pacific Northwest—strategizing around how a small bird (the northern spotted owl) could be used as a surrogate to save entire ecosystems. This issue seemed like a big deal at the time, and of course it was in many ways. But while I was busy trying to save spotted owls, the founders of The Wildlands Project, now Wildlands Network, were envisioning even bigger things.

Close-up of raptor with bright yellow eye and sharp beak

For the Wild: Introduction

Twenty-five years.
Half the lifespan of a chimpanzee, or a scarlet macaw lighting the tropical sky. Twice the age of an old wild cougar, who somehow eluded highways and guns. A few blinks of the eye for a bowhead whale, her baleen sifting the Beaufort across two centuries or more. And the silver anniversary of couples of our own kind, honoring the hard-earned stories they’ve created along the way.