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Rewilding North America: A Vision For Conservation In The 21St Century Paperback – July 1, 2004

ISBN-13: 978-1559630610 ISBN-10: 1559630612 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; First Edition edition (July 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1559630612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559630610
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #665,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Foreman somehow manages to be comprehensive, historically informed, accurate, and succinct. This makes the book surprisingly well suited to serve as a text for introductory courses in ecology or conservation biology. The book's provocative vision will certainly spark interest and lively discussion."
(Conservation Biology)

About the Author

Dave Foreman is Director of The Rewilding Institute, a non-profit conservation think tank based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is dedicated to developing and promoting the ideas, strategies, and vision of continental-scale conservation.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Connie Barlow on March 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
Nearly 60 years ago, Aldo Leopold gave the world a treasure: his "Sand County Almanac". "Rewilding North America" is the Sand County Almanac of our time, in eloquence as well as vision. Dave Foreman, who raised the conservation bar so shockingly (and successfully) with "Earth First!" 25 years ago, has now become an elder, a respected colleague of the leading lights in conservation biology, while carrying on his legacy of showing the rest of us new possibities for bolder and more biocentric paths of ethics and action.

"Rewilding North America" is THE environmental vision for this era and for this continent. The book begins with the most succinct and heart-stoppingly depressing summary of the bad news of biodiversity and ecological losses that I have yet encountered. But hang in there, because Foreman then masterfully unfolds a program of possibility that is both radical and realistic -- and inspirational beyond measure!

As we biodiversity and wilderness advocates continue the important work in the paradigm of preservation (that is, saving all the pieces we can against the onslaught of vapid consumerism), we can also begin to take the exciting first steps in a new form of ecological restoration. Dave's "rewilding" proposal is long-term in both directions: He considers a baseline for rewilding that goes back 13,000 years to just before the first humans arrived in North America, while setting forth a vision that is intended -- dare I say, destined -- to grow over this century and the next. That means we don't just stop at bringing back Wolf and Griz; we also start plotting paths for repatriating Cheetah to its continent of origin, and assisting Order Proboscidea in once again leisurely reshaping the tusked behemoths of the Old World into New World natives.

Onward with the Great Work!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Digbee VINE VOICE on June 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'm often frustrated by books on "the environment," much of which talk about pollution, toxic chemicals, recycling and related topics. Those strike me as questions of human health and safety - - these issues don't really value the environment for itself, but only in terms of whether or not humans are fouling our nest.

This book lays out a different vision, one much closer to the kind of manifesto that I've been looking for. Foreman wants to "rewild" large chunks of land in North America. Some of these lands will be strictly preserved, such as wildernesses and national parks, but much of the action takes place in buffer zones, corridors between preserved areas, and thinking about how to make the human-occupied matrix more friendly to nature.

Foreman wants to create four "Continental MegaLinkages," which would preserve a network of preserved lands. The MegaLinkages are breathtaking: the Pacific MegaLinkage (Baja to Alaska); the Spine of the Continent MegaLinkage (Central America to Alaska through the Rockies); the Atlantic MegaLinkage (Florida through the Appalachian Mountains to New Brunswick); and the Arctic-Boreal MegaLinkage (from Alaska across Canada to the Maritimes).

Did you notice that the prairies of the United States and Canada are completely left out? Neither did Foreman. He never discusses them. That was my biggest single disappointment of the book, and it cost him that fifth star.

To make his argument, Foreman talks about how humans have caused extinctions from the Stone Age until the present - - 40,000 years of environmental destruction. Then he talks about the core ideas of conservation biology to set the stage for his proposed MegaLinkages. In particular, he emphasizes the importance of cores, corridors and carnivores.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Nathan Andersen TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
Dave Foreman (of Earth First!) has written a powerful manifesto for the recovery of American wild space. What is so refreshing about his approach is that, like Leopold and Thoreau before him, he recognizes that the real problem for an environmentalist who values wilderness is not how to preserve pockets of wilderness against human activity, but how to reintegrate wilderness back into our lives and habitations. One reason for this is that pockets of wilderness are unsustainable --to flourish they need to be large enough to sustain populations of large predators and that requires much more space than we currently allot to our wildlife preserves, and even this amount of space is constantly under threat. The solution is to allow for corridors that connect wild spaces, and Foreman shows how this can be done and is already being done in certain parts of North America. Another reason is that in the long run to survive as a species we are going to have to move away from the fuel intensive and non-localized approaches to economy that have been largely responsible for the decimation of vast chunks of land. Finally, he argues that there is something about wilderness that is essential to our humanity, and that the presence of vital natural areas and even of large predators closer to home is an important factor in fostering the humility in the face of nature that we are going to need to rediscover if we are to learn to live sustainably. In some ways this all might seem like a utopian project, but what is powerful about the book is how elaborately it lays out the details of how such a project can be accomplished, and how it explains the conservation science at the root of this project, and identifies the networks of organizations already working with these concerns.Read more ›
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