Shrinking wilderness

Erika Ritter reviews Wild Horse Annie, The Last of the Mustangs.

My only reservation about Wild Horse Annie is a wish that the authors had embraced questions beyond the borders of this highly specific story. For instance, what is it about the plight of a particular species that will call to someone like Velma Johnston? Even as she deplored her society’s treatment of mustangs and bankrupted her finances and her health on their behalf, Velma ranched cattle, shot rabbits, and wore doeskin pants.

On a larger scale, how should all of us address tensions between our own entitlement and ever-shrinking areas of wilderness? Problems continue to accrue from policies that lump animals in with “resources” to be managed, and which pit wildlife against the financial interests of landowners, hunters and other influential humans.

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