Reading List

Books We Recommend

Here are some excellent books from our mentors.

The Practice of the Wild

What do you/we mean by wild? We have come to think of wild as self-reliant, spontaneous, self-willed, self-regulating, local, authentic, and free. We believe that wildness is about trust and non-expectation of outcome…about letting go, not caring, never minding, just being…about accepting the unpredictable and the unfamiliar into our lives. At the opposite end of a continuum we find domestication, and much more exists for us to consider in between. Gary Snyder is a wonderful mentor for anyone seeking her/his own understanding/definition of wild. THE PRACTICE OF THE WILD is our go-to book on this subject.

Finite and Infinite Games

What does James Carse have to teach us about wildness? Are we playing to win or playing to play? What freedoms do humans have in relation to nature? Is nature ordered, or is it chaotic? If nature is indifferent to humans, why do we respond with confrontation and struggle? Why do we insist on reducing an unpredictable vitality into a predictable mass? Is the attempt to control nature at its heart the attempt to control other persons? Do organized athletic, artistic, and educational regimes as a means of preparing children for serious competition represent a form of exploitation which robs them of open playfulness?

Deep Ecology

What lifestyle changes are needed for us to live within the bounds of sustainability? Arne Naess laid it out beautifully many years ago, but most self-proclaimed environmentalists chose shallow ecology over Deep Ecology. That choice made us feel good but nothing much changed because of all the “green” initiatives. So let’s take a second look at Arne’s 25 tendencies and attitudes characteristic of Deep Ecology supporters. A 26th is mentioned in the second paragraph after his listings. 

Wild Earth

Published quarterly by Wildlands Network (then The Wildlands Project) from 1991–2004, the award-winning Wild Earth was considered the journal of record for the American wilderness movement. Wild Earth contributors communicated conservation science to a broad audience of activists, policy makers, academics, and professional conservationists, while also providing a forum for strategic and philosophical discussion with the conservation movement.

Wilderness is finite.
Wildness is infinite.