We live on a small planet. More than seven billion of us share a thin rind of life called the biosphere that extends from the floor of the sea to a ceiling of sky. What once seemed a boundless wilderness, beckoning humanity to explore and conquer, is now mapped, inhabited and transformed into an etched blue marble floating in the vast expanse of space.
And yet fragments from the original blanket of wilderness remain as sanctuaries for flora, fauna and the human spirit. Preservation of these last wild vestiges serves a greater purpose than merely habitat for owls or recreation at the fringe. It is the fabric of our creation and the story of our world. While we are constantly changing to adapt to the ever new environments of our own making, our roots in nature remain the same.
In the growing din of modern living, these pristine places harbor the memory of our origin, providing a perspective on who we are and our place in the cosmos. To lose this is to forget the part of us that is perhaps most timeless and free. As stewards of the environment, we must ensure that wilderness remains the heritage of future generations, so they too may marvel at this cathedral called earth.