A Storied Wilderness: Rewilding the Apostle Islands

storied wilderness cover image A Storied Wilderness: Rewilding the Apostle Islands

by James W. Feldman
Reflections on Nature
University of Washington Press, 2011
Hardcover, 320 pages
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"Rewilding" - as Feldman conceives it- is not about simply eradicating the traces of human presence and activity in the natural world, but rather recognizing the shared roles of people and nature in restoring and maintaining wild places. His laboratory is the marvelous landscape of the Apostle Islands - once a bustling hive of human community and commerce - which came to be the only area in the continental United States granted "wilderness" status during the presidency of George W. Bush. One of the key "stories" in the book is that of the Noring Farm - an abandoned homestead on Sand Island. In his forward, the eminent historian William Cronon describes his own experience of the fading remnants of the old farm and points out how Feldman drew upon it to demonstrate his insights into the intertwining of human and nonhuman nature. This is one of many of his stories of the Apostle Islands and as Cronon puts it, "[These] stories will remain legible on these pages in all their poignant ambiguity for a very long time to come."