12. Education in concord
towards a knowledge system of moral naturalism
Concord is a town in N.E Massachusetts, and it was there that Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), emerged as one of an Anglo-American group of nineteenth-century Romantics who were the first great environmental subversives of modem times. The Romantic approach to nature was fundamentally ecological in that is was concerned with relation, interdependence, and holism.  Thoreau wrote about the lands around his home in Concord, and the ways they had been altered by two centuries of European colonisation.  In these meditations on history and place he was one of the first Americans to articulate a philosophy about the value of environmental heritage and the need for its conservation. 
His musings were concerned with identifying landmarks as the remains of former interactions of human social systems with ecosystems.  People add notional attachments to these landmarks based on ideas generated by coming into contact with them. These random collisions between place and imagination illustrate the inevitable creative stimulus of combining wildlife and people.  This important intellectual outcome illustrates the progression of civilisation carried forward by myth and legend attached to landmarks such as marshes, ruins, and churchyards.  These thoughts in place are expressed as writings and art works.  They are creative elements of personal knowledge systems about the values of cultural heritage and the need to inject these values into systems of conservation management.  Most of us, when we think about it, realize that after our own direct experience of wildness, art and literature, myth and lore have contributed most to our love of wild places, animals, plants, even, perhaps, to our love of human wildness. For here is the language of imagination that we so desperately need in order to articulate the true meaning of conservation and have the medium so necessary to communicate a shared vision.
Thoreau's thoughts about the juxtaposition of wildness and economic development highlight the importance of notional values created by the people who have day-to-day contact with places they wish to conserve.  What is unsettling is that these people, who have led a life of intimate contact with nature at its wildest– a halibut fisherman plying the currents of the Gulf of Alaska, an Inuit whale hunter, a rancher tending a small cow-calf operation, a logger with a chainsaw–are perceived as the enemies of preservation.
The friends of preservation, on the other hand, are often city folk who depend on vacations in wilderness areas and national parks for their (necessarily) limited experience of wildness. The difference in degree of experience of wildness, the dichotomy of friends/enemies of preservation, and the notorious inability of these two groups to communicate shared values indicates the depth of our muddle about wilderness and wildness.  It suggests again and again the increasingly desperate nature of our struggle.  At the heart of the dilemma is the fact that urban  human beings are no longer residents of wild nature, hence we no longer consider ourselves part of a biological order.
The two cultures can only be bridged through an education in moral naturalism; an education that incorporates conservation and economic development as the two pillars of applied knowledge for a sustainable future.