Ah, wilderness. The very word means“the place of wild animals.” It’s a place where, by definition, as my friend the grizzly bear expert Doug Peacock says, something in it can kill you and eat you. Absent that danger, it’s something other than wild.
Wilderness is the stuff of a structuralist’s binary dreams, opposed to civilization, its antithesis and enemy. But, in truth, the wild is an invention of civilization: We recognize that the wild is wild only because we know what houses, fields, orchards, and gardens look like, the one part of our world behaving by its own rules, the other ordered by the hard work of human hands.