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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jay Turner, July 29, 2011
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J. Turner (Massachusetts) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Storied Wilderness (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books) (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful book. If you already know the Apostle Islands, Feldman offers a new way to read the landscape that will change the way you look at each dock, each beach, and each clearing in the woods. But Feldman also wraps big questions about what wilderness is, why we protect it, and how we manage it around one of the most fascinating national parks in the United States. If you are interested in a new way to conceptualize the shared role of people and nature in recreating wild landscapes, Feldman offers a compelling framework -- "rewilding." As Feldman argues in the introduction, "Rewilding landscapes should not be interpreted as evidence neither of past human abuse nor of triumphant wild nature, but as examples of the ongoing impact of human choices on natural processes and of natural conditions on human history. These landscapes represent both history and nature, working simultaneously and together." Embracing those stories doesn't diminish wilderness; instead, it offers us a rich new way to think about our relationship to Nature, both in the past and future.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brings fascinating questions of life and wonder in the Apostles, April 8, 2012
This review is from: Storied Wilderness (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books) (Hardcover)
Feldman's genius is in the way he mixes his true sentiment for this pristine area, unknown to many, with a realistic and practical approach to the way we think about natural preservation. He motivates you to think about human impact while sharing excerpts from his experience and so gracefully detailed written perspective with a friend or loved one.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Anthropocentric distractions, March 15, 2013
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This review is from: Storied Wilderness (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books) (Hardcover)
A Storied Wilderness by James Feldman is a well written meticulous description of Lake Superior's Apostle Islands transitioning from local sustainability to market driven rural resource recovery to seasonal home/tourism and finally to it's present status as a eco-wilderness. The book is valuable in recounting and capturing the historical progression.

The author and the NPS are to be commended in their call to blend history into nature. To do so they are challenging the Jolly Green Giant of wilderness-as-religion mantra that has driven environmental discourse to anthropocentric distraction.

However NPS's injection of cultural vignettes is little more than tokenism in what amounts to a checkerboard, live-tree rather than animatronics, theme park. It is artifice designed to provide the illusion of nature while fostering the delusion of a present new and improved non-consumption.

Just as the former schemes failed as the resources proved too limited to service the cities gregarious needs, so too shall the present panacea prove fallacious. Eco-tourism footprint merely displaces the resources needed for such sport to transport and industry of unseen elsewhere's. Such "preserves" of less visible use are constructs to salve the past and satisfy present narratives. They are the jolly greens of idyllic `pre-contact" stasis, surrounded by exclusionary filters to sort out the unholy while concurrently preventing nature from fulfilling her legacy.

Even rewilding the prime mover of nature is used anthropocentrically as an ointment to remove the vestiges of white man guilt. Rewilding at man's direction is gardening, plot by plot of self righteous dreamscapes rather than allowing nature to regaining her design.

Anthropocentrism no matter it's form is a dereliction of our responsibility to prioritize the needs of our environment. Satisfying urbana's needs for timber, fish and fowl started the slide from sustainability which wilderness designation will now make complete. Resource recovery took, perhaps stole from her, now we have enslaved her.

In the author's wanderings away from history the book could be improved through a deeper understanding of the forest for the trees and a more courageous goring of the sacred oxes. But it is a very good read none the less.
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Storied Wilderness (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)
Storied Wilderness (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books) by James W. Feldman (Hardcover - July 5, 2011)
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