January 19, 2018

Teaching EH: Global Perspectives on Wilderness

Lucas A. Sprouse & Dr. Lisa Brady
Environmental History Boise State University


These lesson plans will encourage students to better understand the significance of The Wilderness Act as well as how global perspectives on wilderness differ from the American paradigm. More specifically, these lesson plans look at the impact of changing perspectives on wilderness in the United States, exclusionary practices regarding native peoples, global perspectives on wilderness looking specifically at Africa, Latin America, and Australia, and the importance of The Land and Water


Conservation Fund Act.

These lessons were created to benefit university educators from multiple disciplines and they can be utilized individually or as a unit. The lesson plans contains analytical questions for class discussion followed by activities. While the activities were created for groups, many of them can be made into individual projects or assignments. When used as a unit, these lessons encourage students to analyze the global impact of The Wilderness Act. “50 Years of Wilderness in the United States” and “Can Humans Coexist with Wilderness?” encourage students to look at the significance of The Wilderness Act and think about the concept of wilderness. “Native Peoples and Wilderness: A Study on Exclusionary Practices in Canada” examines the precarious state of affairs regarding indigenous peoples and national parks in North America. “A Modern, American Perspective on Wilderness” analyzes wilderness in an increasingly politically polarized American society and evaluates the impact of The Wilderness Act in the United States. “An African Perspective on Wilderness,” “A Latin American Perspective on Wilderness,” and “An Australian Perspective on Wilderness” compare and contrast the American paradigm of wilderness with global examples in Africa, Latin America, and Australia, respectively. “Pictorial Perspectives on Wilderness and the Land and Water Conservation Fund” examines the importance of the oft overlooked, and arguably more significant Land and Water Conservation Fund Act. As a whole, these lessons encourage students to analyze the significance of The Wilderness Act in the United States while examining how preservation of wilderness differs from the prevailing American paradigm around the globe.

Lesson Plans:

Articles (available through this site at no charge):

Primary Sources (provided):

Download whole teaching unit as .zip

Download lesson overview as PDF