Where environmental ethics and wildland management meet, Wilderness Ethics: Valuing and Managing Wild Places by Jennifer Lamb and Glenn Goodrich is a great way to begin understanding the decision-making processes that marry the two themes. A useful tool in the NOLS curriculum since the 1992 edition, both authors felt it natural to update this valuable resource.
“Though a wilderness ethic has been developing within our culture since the early 1800’s, it is something that our society still struggles with in efforts to assess our relationship with the natural world,” says Goodrich, a Senior NOLS Field Instructor with past experience developing curriculum for the school.
Lamb, NOLS Public Policy Director, agrees. “There is so much going on on public land now, and there’s so much we can offer our students by introducing them to public land and inspiring them to become good stewards but also to become involved in that management, so I think the book sets them up pretty well to do that.”
After updating the comprehensive review of the numerous land management agencies and their roles, “we wanted to add a section to the book that looked at some of the key challenges that agencies face…[those] fundamentally germane to managing public land,” says Lamb, referring specifically to issues such as the growth in outdoor recreation and balancing the roles of politics and science in decision making.
The authors hope the book will go beyond the students and instructors at NOLS to other academic arenas. It is a book for “anyone with an interest and desire to learn more about how we manage public lands,” says Goodrich. “And anyone who ponders our relationship and interactions with wildlands.