Thoreau once said, "In wildness is the preservation of the world." But true wilderness is becoming rarer all the time. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, ecologists and philosophers debate our losses as the wild places disappear.
Stephen Budiansky is a writer with U.S. News and World Report and the author of "Nature's Keeper's: The New Science of Nature Management." He tells Judith Strasser that "wilderness" is largely a figment of the human imagination and explains how humans manage even the wildest lands. Also, Pulitzer Prize winning poet Gary Snyder talks with Steve Paulson about the true meaning of wildness and cautions against confusing wildness with wild places. Among Snyder's books is "The Practice of the Wild."SEGMENT 2:
Tropical biologist John Terborgh has worked for the last twenty five years deep in the Amazon jungle in a wildnerness preserve that's really wild. It's the size of Connecticut and teeming with jaguars, puma and monkey- snatching harpy eagles. He tells Steve Paulson that he's a "big picture" sort of guy and enjoys studying how complex ecological systems interact with eachother.SEGMENT 3:
Jim Fleming reads Rainer Maria Rilke's poem, "The Panther" as a prelude to his conversation with journalist Vicki Croke about what makes for a good zoo exhibit and how few there are. Croke says most zoos do not support genuine conservation efforts and that the way to save endangered species is to save their habitat. Her book is called "The Modern Ark: The Story of Zoos - Past, Present and Future."
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