What is a Wilderness Interface Zone?
In resource management parlance, a Wilderness Interface Zone or Urban/Wilderness Interface Area is a transition zone at the edge of a wilderness area where native wildland plants and animals mesh with people, their domesticated animals, and human activities and creations–buildings, streets, gardens, etc.
Officially, a “wilderness area” is an area Congress designates as wilderness by virtue of that area’s meeting criteria established in the Wilderness Act of 1964.
Unofficially, wilderness can be any place in nature where humans live with some degree of interaction with wild species and natural landscapes or where people sally forth to enjoy contact with the natural beauties of the earth.
Metaphorically, a WIZ could be any point or area of interaction where the well-thought-over and the unimagined mix it up.
About Our Wilderness Interface Zone
“If it be maintained that certain powers, such as self-consciousness, abstraction, etc., are peculiar to man, it may well be that these are the incidental results of other highly advanced intellectual faculties, and these again are mainly the result of the continued use of a highly developed language.”—Charles Darwin
Originally, Wilderness Interface Zone at A Motley Vision was designed to help develop, inspire, and promote literary nature and science writing in the Mormon writing community. WIZ’s intent was to open a frontier in Mormon arts, demonstrating in the process that it’s okay–even necessary–for Mormons who feel the inclination to write about nature. While that’s still our goal, we’re adding another dimension to WIZ’s raison d’etre: raising awareness of features of human expression–in particular, human language, written or spoken–that qualify language as an environment in its own right. Thus we will promote human language as exhibiting one or more of the “conditions, circumstances, and influences surrounding, and affecting the development of, an organism or group of organisms” (Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary) that qualify it as a living, evolving environment. We’ll also advocate for the logosphere by promoting the idea that human beings can and should “go green” in language, developing or restoring sustainable practices–more considered behavior–in language’s sensitive wordscapes.
Thus WIZ will continue to publish criticism and theory; interviews; original writing, including excerpts, creative nonfiction, poetry, hybrid literary forms, and fiction; odds and ends such as field notes; and news and commentary on events related to nature writing that illuminate the nature-human relationship in the many ways it manifests. However, we will place special emphasis on writing that demonstrates the need for and effects of “green language”–language that taps into the fertile realm of language’s most vital energies. Such language opens new ground and multiplies and replenishes possibilities, both for people and for the other species that language’s effects touch.
Beside all that, WIZ aspires to provide an interface area for other kinds of nature artists to discuss or call attention to their work or post news on shows or other opportunities.
It is our wildest hope that not only Mormon artists but also writers who are not Mormon but are interested in nature writing and in the vibrancy of language will find WIZ a spirited literary community, one where they find language that resonates.