Article by David Quammen (from January 2009 issue of National Geographic magazine).

Some places on this planet are so wondrous, and so frangible, that maybe we just shouldn't go there.

Maybe we should leave them alone and appreciate them from afar. Send a delegated observer who will absorb much, walk lightly, and report back as Neil Armstrong did from the moon—and let the rest of us stay home. That paradox applies to Kronotsky Zapovednik, a remote nature reserve on the east side of Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula, along the Pacific coast a thousand miles north of Japan.



Kronotsky Volcano. (c) Michael Melford, National Geographic