The ReWilding (1985)


Hey folks. Wanted to share this essay written by Jesse Wolf Hardin who first coined the word “rewilding.” The essay was written under the name Lone Wolf Circles in 1985 but was first published in 1986. Apparently Jesse Hardin had been using the word “rewilding” since 1976 however as part of his eco-poetry performances. Bill Devall was one of the people who urged Hardin to share his message with a broader audience. Jesse Wolf Hardin and Dave Foreman were both members of Earth First! (you can watch them onstage together at “Rain Forest Road show” on YouTube) and it is from Jesse that Dave Foreman got the word rewilding. Hardin originally intended rewilding to be a personal revolution and reconnection with our primal selves. The conservation sense to its meaning came later. Regardless of original intent, a word is known through use and some people mean different things by it, though they are generally all variations on a theme. I’m also struck by the fact that rewilding has been in the lexicon for 42 years already…The ReWilding by Jesse Wolf Hardin.pdf (170.8 KB)

(Alexander Meander) #2

was not aware of this! thanks for digging this up and sharing it Zach. i find this to be valuable information as we look to the source of the language we use. once i get this read i will pop back in and share my thoughts. :slight_smile:

(BenSpiritbear) #3

Thank you for sharing this!

(Sam Sycamore) #4

Fascinating! Thank you for the tip. I’m really looking forward to reading this, and I’m wondering how hard it might to get in touch with the guy. It’s very interesting to me that this isn’t more widely known within the rewilding community.

(Andrew) #5

I invented rewilding, and Huffpo is going to hear about it!