Conservation Biology is an emerging scientific discipline that seeks to understand ecosystems from a holistic perspective. The ultimate objective is to protect these areas against all foreseeable eventualities, both natural and manmade. Within any chosen territory keystone species, energy transfers, susceptibility to disturbances, size, and other pertinent data are identified. This allows scientists to plan for the preservation of an area well into the future. It is conceivable that Conservation Biology will become the major principle guiding land-use decisions.
Nature operates on timescales far longer than humans can imagine. Within a matter of decades, entire forests and woodlands and deserts are being turned into housing subdivisions and strip malls and freeways. We simply must stand back and assess what we are doing to our world. The primary strategies within conservation biology are the designation of core conservation areas, ringed by buffer zones and connected by corridors. This system can be incorporated in every landscape, every city, and every region. Roadless areas will remain so. Areas of wild land will remain so. Nature requires large sections of untrammeled wilderness in which to unfold her wondrous diversity. Chopping these lands into tiny pieces is like doing the same to a remarkable painting.
There is one primary national organization (The Wildlands Project) that is working on a long-range design centered on the principles of conservation biology. As well, there are a number of regionally-based groups in the process of studying various ecosystems. Ultimately, these analyses will be merged into a unified whole. The result will be a wilderness recovery strategy that equally takes into account human needs with those of Nature, and which can be replicated on every continent.