ALDO LEOPOLD'S MONUMENTAL IDEA became the 1922 birth of the Gila Wilderness, the first such protected place in the nation. In honor of its centennial, Elizabeth Hightower Allen gathered essays from environmentalists, politicians, and poets for First & Wildest: The Gila Wilderness at 100 (Torrey House Press). Their stories sing like a chorus on a host of issues, including the notion of who can own a wilderness. (“This is Apache land, and always has been,” one essay asserts.) Imperiled by potential development, the Gila also holds the threat of flash floods, hungry mountain lions, and elusive wolves—the wild hearts of this lyrical collection.