When Montana resident Chris Evans was asked what gift of the wilderness he valued most, he had a simple reply: “Solitude.”
That single word says a lot. With technology and mobile communications making modern life increasingly noisy, there are fewer opportunities to unplug and disconnect. It’s just one of the reasons why wilderness is especially important today. And it’s why communities like ours with wild backyards are especially lucky.
Wilderness is a chance to to escape the pressures of the 21st century. When you walk into a wilderness area, it’s no longer humankind that is in control. Nature is in charge, and in wild lands, we play by her rules.
“[I value] the existence of Intact ecosystems where other creatures are dominant and we just travel through them as visitors with respect and reverence,” said Sandpoint resident Preston Andrews.
The University of Montana deemed wilderness solitude so important that in 2018, it published a 147-page study on the subject. The scholarly work examines solitude in detail for its remoteness, societal release, introspection, physical separation and de-tethering from the digital world. It also details the public policies that preserve solitude.
“As the pace of contemporary life continues to accelerate, wilderness provides a refuge from the never-ending transactions of digital-social life,” the study states in its opening.
Based on the study’s conclusions, wilderness solitude isn’t something to be thrown aside lightly. On the contrary, it’s a gift to save for our kids and grandkids.
Do you have a gift of the wilderness that you value most? Email email@example.com to share your thoughts.