Video: Defining The Wilderness Act

Candice Gaukel Andrews November 8, 2012 9

The Wilderness Act of 1964 defines “wilderness” as a place where humans are only transitory. From the video “America’s Wilderness,” ©National Park Service

It’s fall in Wisconsin where I live; and during these moody, gray November days, the white-tailed deer “begin to run,” as we say. It’s the time of year when I see them the most.

The sight of them reminds me that although we usually think of the wolf or the grizzly bear as the ultimate icon of the wild, it is actually from deer that we get our word wilderness.

The word deer (in its original spelling, deor) was once the Old English word for an animal, in general. And wilddeoren (or wildeornes) once simply meant “the place of wild animals.”

One of my favorite definitions of wilderness, however, recently came to my attention. It comes from the Wilderness Act of 1964, which will soon mark its 50th anniversary. The act defines wilderness as the place where “man himself is a visitor and does not remain.”

So take a brief moment out of your November day for a bit of reflection about our wilderness areas and how fortunate we are to have them. Watch the short video below produced by the U.S. National Park Service.

I’m sure you’ll find meaning in it.

Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,





  1. Vanessa November 14, 2012 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    Thanks for posting this video Candice. I have shared its short but important message.

  2. VARUN DUTT SWAMI November 13, 2012 at 11:02 am - Reply


  3. Emily Mabee November 12, 2012 at 5:23 pm - Reply

    Makes me smile : )

  4. John Boehlke November 11, 2012 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    Excellent!! Thank You for posting this.

  5. Art Hardy November 11, 2012 at 8:40 am - Reply

    Cool. Sorry I can’t comment further… I feel the need to go outside!

  6. John Russell November 10, 2012 at 11:43 am - Reply

    Excellent. I’ve shared it widely.

  7. Владимир Данько November 10, 2012 at 4:33 am - Reply

    Beautiful nature

  8. Thorsten Klint November 9, 2012 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Nice initative … can’t more then just agree ! have a nice weekend. Thorsten/Sweden

  9. Travis November 8, 2012 at 4:42 pm - Reply

    Really beautiful!

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