A few weeks ago I went to a protected sanctuary in the city i live in Wellington. It is a beautiful natural place apart from the man made lake and the fencing.
A decade or so ago land that was owned by a foundation was given over to a trust to set up a nature preserve for native species that would be vermin and pest free.
Nz has only a couple of native mammals, they are both bats. the rest of the wildlife are birds of amazing variety, reptiles and amphibians, and a lot of unique and ancient insects including the weta which sort of looks like a giant cricket with armour.
when humans came to the unspoiled land they not only hunted some of the precious species to extinction but they also brought introduced species with them that kill and compete with the native wildlife, rats, possums, goats, pigs, wallabys, stoats and weasels, rabbits. all of them have caused untold destruction of the environment.
programs were started many of whom were world firsts and others that helped pioneer simmilar programs around the world by eradicating introduced species from many of our offshore islands and then creating these spaces as nature preserves and sanctuaries. some were quite unintentional such as an island in the middle of our two main islands that held a large population of tuatara the living fossil and a lot of native birds. no pests existed there so they were able to reproduce and have balance. This population was used to seed others and many other examples of this have happened.
The reason I wanted to start a conversation about free wilds in our world is that the sactuary I visted was a very successful attempt by humans to right the wrongs done to their environment and to restablish populations of native species back in what was once their native habitat.
The sanctuary is a large space in the middle of suburban wellington that has tall fencing all around it's perimeter that is designed to prevent all introduced destructive species from entering the sanctuary so the inside of the fence is the way the natural environment used to be. The sanctuary has also brought many species of birds which previously were wiped out back into the wider area as they have safe nesting spaces
I wondered if anyone else has visited a place like this where nature has been protected and restored and felt to a certain extent that it reminded you of the free wilds of athera.
Welcome here Joshaylan, and I hope people will respond to your question.
The concept of leaving tracts of unmanaged, core wilderness is gaining attention, but slowly. It will be interesting to see what others contribute.
I would have to say camping in the Tonto National Forest is the closest I have been to an Athera free wilds setting, although I do recall a specific clearing I hiked to near summer camp in Pine. Someone had coaxed a tree limb to grow into a living bench, and the ground off the scant path I had followed lay covered thick in ferns. I remember it was sprinkling, but there was still light glimmering through the ponderosa pines, which smelled like tilled earth and vanilla. The grove was hemmed in by limestone at the farthest end, mottled with streaks of mineral color like most formations along the Mogollon Rim.
That place (slightly modified) is what I imagined when I read about King's Grove.
A recent drive up north was akin to descriptions of drake fire through. Drought, careless people, and occasional freak lightning strikes have caused many wildfires in the region over the years since I walked that clearing. Not many of the places I remember look the same anymore.