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Medicine for the Outdoors

Dr. Paul Auerbach is the world's leading outdoor health expert. His blog offers tips on outdoor safety and advice on how to handle wilderness emergencies.

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Wilderness Management

The fourth edition of Wilderness Management, authored by Chad P. Dawson and John C. Hendee and published by Fulcrum Publishing of Golden, Colorado, is a gem. Subtitled Stewardship and Protection of Resources and Values, this book is must-read for anyone involved in natural resources management. Given that the entire concept of wilderness medicine is predicated upon there being wilderness, this book should be of great interest to anyone concerned about the environment.

As noted in the Publisher's Preface by Vance G. Martin, President of the International Wilderness Leadership (WILD) Foundation, wilderness is essential to a well-balanced natural resource program, because we need wild places with naturalness and solitude, where biological evolution can proceed to produce the genetic diversity upon which all life and societies are built. True wilderness areas are under enormous pressure, and if we are to begin to understand how to protect them, we first must understand how they evolved, what they are and their role internationally in the structure and function of nature. Mr. Martin appropriately notes that this book is meant for everyone who is concerned about wilderness - land managers, scientists, wilderness users, teachers, students, citizens, environmentalists, natural-resource developers, outfitters and guides, consultants, planners and policy makers worldwide. Everyone has a stake in the future of wilderness.

The book is endorsed by luminaries from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior; The Wilderness Society; Bureau of Land Management; The Wilderness Foundation (South Africa); National Wildlife Refuge System; U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture; and the WILD Foundation.

I am going to quote from the Author's Preface:

The book's specific objectives are:

1. To describe the evolution of the U.S. National Wilderness Preservation System: its philosophical, historical, and legal origins; its current size, number of areas, and distribution; and its probable future. We also describe state wilderness in the United States and some wilderness systems in other countries.
2. To provide a common reference for managers, students, scientists, educators, and citizens, who must work together to steward the U.S. National Wilderness Preservation system, state wilderness systems, and wilderness in other countries to protect their resources and values.
3. To propose principles and concepts from which management policy and actions to preserve wilderness might be derived and to describe current wilderness management approaches, policies, procedures, and techniques.
4. To introduce readers to pressing wilderness management issues, impacts, the implications of alternative methods of dealing with them, pertinent literature, current problems, solutions, and research.
5. To describe differences and interrelationships between wilderness designation and wilderness management and between management of wilderness and management of contiguous non-wilderness lands.

The book is divided into the following sections:

1. The Setting
2. U.S. Legal Authority and Process for Wilderness
3. Wilderness Management and Planning Concepts
4. Wilderness Resources, Values, and Threats to Them
5. Wilderness Uses and Their Management
6. The Future

This book in various editions has been available for 30 years, and for very good reason. I highly recommend it.

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About the Author

Dr. Paul S. Auerbach is the world’s leading authority on wilderness medicine.