Wilderness Managers in the Southwest: The Relationship between Wilderness Philosophy, Experience, and Practice


  • Randy J. Virden
  • Rachel R. Brooks


Anthropocentric, biocentric, experience, wilderness management, wilderness philosophy, values.


This study provides an exploratory analysis and examination of the values and subsequent philosophies that forty wilderness managers hold toward wilderness in the Southwestern Region of the U.S. Forest Service. Based on a review of the wilderness-philosophy literature, a technique was developed to measure the degree to which a wilderness manager was biocentric or anthropocentric in his or her philosophical orientation. This independent variable, measured along a derived biocentric/anthropocentric (B/ A) continuum, was then examined for relationships with the wilderness management practices reported by the managers. Additionally, a variable representing the wilderness management experience served as a second independent variable. Both independent variables were found to be related to actual management practices. The results are presented and discussed in terms of their implications for current and future wilderness management.





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