...a little time.
Thoreau said that wildness will preserve the world. The truth is, in our world wildness can't preserve itself. Setting aside a few wild places here and there is not enough to moderate climate breakdown (forget about stopping or reversing it) and to insure our coming generations have clean water and breathable air.
With millions of people every year trampling our national parks, like the Great Smoky Mountains, sustainable wilderness is impossible. The mountain ecosystems that drew Horace Kephart and George Masa no longer exist. There is no place you can go in any wilderness tract in America without encountering some sign of human exploitation.
What the current ecological crisis requires is not designating more wilderness areas, as much as we need that practice to continue. Ecological recovery in our country necessitates a vast re-wilding of America. Re-greening might be a more accurate term, a re-foresting of the landscape where people live. Green cities as well as green mountains.
Quit mowing your frankengrass and poisoning your ground and instead, plant some trees in your yard. When it gets too shady for a lawn, put in some trillium or native azalea. Make room for life to happen that you didn't plan. Learn the names of flowers you didn't plant.
Adam didn't plant the first garden. He was put there by his Maker after the fact to look after it. When being a gardener seemed no longer good enough for him, he tried to blame his wife. I don't buy his alibi. Women didn't invent gunpowder or strip mining. It's way too late now to get our old garden back. But we have a little time left to grow a new one.