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The Last Chance Wilderness Essay

816 words - 4 pages

It is absolutely clear that Congress must decide to manage the federally owned land in Eastern Oregon as a National Park. In this essay I will attempt to take a strong ecocentric point of view in validating this claim. The wild habitat which contains a diverse wildlife, with unsoiled resources and undeveloped land contains an ultimate value in which we find our human value. It is for this reason we cannot elevate our human values to supersede the intrinsic value of nature. Through the banning of livestock in the park, allowing nonintrusive activities in the park, and the prohibition of hunting predatory animals found in the park, congress will successfully made the ethical decision in managing the federally owned land. It is our moral duty to protect these lands and having made the decision to do so, we will have successfully integrated land and human values. By not allowing the ranchers to freely graze their cattle or defend their livestock through the hunting of wolves on public or private land, we are not stripping them of value merely acknowledging the land’s value. The anthropocentric option does not show a respect for the land’s value, elevating the anthropocentric, or human values, above those values inherent in nature, and as such, the only morally correct option is that of the strong ecocentrist.
In Aldo Leapold’s Land Ethic, he argues for “a shift in values achieved by reappraising things unnatural, tame and confined in terms of things natural, wild, and free,” which is to claim that the traditional idea of extensionism, which is the extension of value to nonhumans based on their similarity to humans, is wrong. Leapold then argues that it is the land community which has ultimate value, and that human value is encompassed by that ultimate value. This broadens what is morally considerable to include the land, which is made up of wildlife, soils and waters. Adopting this mindset the Last Chance Wilderness holds an intrinsic value, and to allow the degradation of the land through allowing the destruction of the wolf population, or ranchers to graze their livestock would be morally reprehensible, as those actions are strictly anthropocentric, and serve to elevate human worth, or value, above that of the land’s. Through an ecocentric outlook, land cannot be merely considered property, or commodity or resource, for this would suggest the anthropocentric ideal that land is just a means to an end. Leapold would suggest rather, that we human beings...

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