Some of the respondents, moreover, particularly favoured those landscapes they felt contrasted with their local, everyday landscape.

No. 6: “…it’s as if you would walk from silence into Beethoven’s Ninth Sym­phony, isn’t it? The contrast is so strong, which is what I like.”

Wilderness areas do provide, without doubt, a contrast with cultivated landscapes, but this discrepancy alone does not guarantee positive attitudes to wilderness areas. What is decisive is how people assess a particular landscape aesthetically. Some, as mentioned above, associated the cate­gory contrast strongly with the perceived beauty of areas that had become wild.


The analysis of the interviews showed that most of the interviewees re­garded nature in general and areas to which wilderness had spread from a utilitarian point of view. Several stressed above all the recreational func­tion of nature.

No. 11: “…well, nature provides space for recreation and hobbies like hunting or skiing or biking… I really enjoy biking up a pass…”

Others, however, consider one of the main functions of nature is ensur­ing continued human survival — or expressed more generally — they see the economic functions of nature as more important.

No. 4: “…yes, purely from the point of view of profitability, I must say a mono­culture is more interesting, isn’t it?”


An important factor for some of the interviewees toward the spread of wil­derness was their concern for ensuring the safety of the public. Protecting processes, i. e. protecting dynamic nature, in which unpredictable processes outside of human control take place, was mentioned in connection with threats to human safety.

No. 9: “…yes, well, if old wood is lying around in there and it can start to slide, or also, everything slides down together,… they were just afraid that it might all come down on the road and bury it.”

Updated: October 3, 2015 — 2:03 pm