Both perspectives I think are in any case equally valid reasons to protect and restore wildland, but the more I look at it the more I see the cultural need as the significant driver in the story so far. The place of the arts in encapsulating this wild landscape in the psychology of a nation, the diaspora and foreign visitors I think cannot be underestimated. This is why we need to embrace a cultural (anthropological?) understanding in our assessment of the status of wild land in our nation as well as issues of biodiversity and ecology.
We could even ask whether in the highlands if it is an economic necessity? Given the cultural needs of society to have this place in its psyche and the underpinning of the highland economy through tourism, without the protection of a particular qualitative value of the wild landscape there could be a real diminishing of the heritage of the area, with the implications of population decline. Does the wider economic benefit to the rest of the country in industrialising wild land out weigh this? Is current wild land management practice in any case a form of industrial scale farming? subject as it is to the whims of subsidy and economic opportunity to land owners.
to be continued..