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Wilderness

From Academic Kids

Wilderness is land that has not been significantly modified by direct or indirect human activity.

For most of human history, the greater part of the Earth's terrain was wilderness, and attention was focused on the settled areas. During the 19th century, it became clear that in many countries, wild areas either had disappeared or were in danger of disappearing, which gave rise to the conservation movement. However, as awareness of the ecological need for wilderness areas has grown, so have the needs of mankind and the perceived need for development.

The creation of national parks, beginning in the 19th century, were sufficient to preserve some especially attractive or notable areas for recreation, but the pursuits of commerce and recreation resulted in continued development of previously untouched areas. In the 20th century the concept of wilderness areas was formally defined, and areas were set aside in which human modifications are highly restricted.

A vast area of northern Canada has very few people. For example, there are no roads for miles surrounding the Four Corners of Canada. However, the mere presence or activity of people does not disqualify an area as wilderness, as many areas have historically been peopled or influenced by the activity of people.

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