Within the first two paragraphs, William Cronon explains that the wilderness is a product of civilization and is not untouched like many believe. The culture of humans has influenced the wilderness is many ways. Throughout history, there had been a race to see who could pick up what land and have the most. As the settlers moved west, the amount of land became smaller and smaller and then there was no more. There was a fight to make national parks and to this day there are none in the grasslands.
Whenever I have thought about nature and the wilderness, I had never thought about it being influenced by culture, especially American culture. It always seems pristine and untouched, something that shouldn’t be messed with in any way and that I should try my best to preserve. However, Cronon opened my eyes to the reality of nature. It is not perfect and serine. Just because the government set up national parks doesn’t mean it is what nature wants. Nature seems to have its own personality that is stronger than any other force.
Even though nature is not a human, it has human traits such as a temper. When the human population changes something, such as cutting down too many trees or using up fossil fuels, the wilderness seems to fight back. Nature and the wilderness are the same thing, growing and striving to keep itself alive. While there are many religious references, the point I take away from them is that nature should be treated with respect because of the power it has.
Nature is not something humans can take and play with. It is a free spirit that is not just National Parks and our backyards. It is deep and heavy with substance, more than what humans can see at a park or behind their house. It extends past the government owned lands and private property. Everyone wants a piece of nature but in reality, the general public only really knows the trees on their street and the National Parks they see pictures of. There is so much unexplored that should be explored, but in a way where it benefits all.