To understand where the motivation and passion to protect the environment was developed, one looks to the rapid deforestation of East Coast old-growth forests at the turn of the century. “As Gifford Pinchot expressed it, ‘The American Colossus was fiercely at work turning natural resources into money.’ ‘A
Beside these arguments, there is also a more quantitative side to the debate. The ecological detriments of the Glen Canyon Dam have been well-documented. Extensive changes were brought about in the Colorado River ecosystem by the construction of the Glen Canyon Dam. Most of these alterations negatively affected the functioning of the system and the native aquatic species of the river. The reduced supply and transport of
Pinchot become known at the time as the man who saved U.S. forests. He introduced sustained-yield forestry---cutting no more in a year than the forests could produce new growth. Pinchot’s goal was to show private landowners that they could too can harvest trees without damaging the forest and graze livestock without denuding the range. He is known for reforming the management and development of forests in the U.S. Pinchot believed that it was important for people to depend on natural resources, and conservation must be utilitarian. The conservation movement was movement for all people and all people should control resources, not only few businesses. Pinchot believed in Government interference and regulation. He says, “The obvious and
In his speech, Conservation as a National Duty, Theodore Roosevelt asserts his passion for conservation and preservation onto a group of governors, statesmen, and conservationists. Throughout his message, he details several reasons for the nation to stop wasting natural resources and begin conserving them. He also states that the question of the conservation and use of the great fundamental sources of wealth, of this nation is second only to the question of morality.
Conservation was the most important reform, from this time period, since it worked towards protecting the United State’s physical environment which leads to obtaining the essential resources of nature, preserving the naturality of the planet, and living a higher quality of life.
What really caused the sudden upsurge in concern for preserving America’s environment at the beginning of the twentieth century? To what extent was this concern motivated by nostalgia for an older America, and to what extent by a desire to preserve nature and natural resources for future generations?
One of America’s greatest conservation achievements is the Wilderness Act of 1964. Fifty-two years later, this act has a legacy to withhold. A legacy that meant something in 1964 and remains the same today: to protect unspoiled land. Even though, through this act millions of acres have been conserved, the key word is continue. That is why America should pass laws to preserve the wilderness before developers spoil them.
1. Karl Jacoby book brings the remarkable accounting of the negative aspects of conservation movement to the sunlight. Jacoby uses the early years of Adirondack Park, Yellowstone National Park, and the Grand Canyon Forest Preserve to demonstrate his theme of the locals’ reactions to the creation of the park and the actions from the conservationists. And the fantasies the early conservationists’ promulgated of the locals of being satanic rapists of the environment are dispelled (193).
“One of the penalties of an ecological education is that one lives alone in a world of wounds. Much of the damage inflicted on land is quite invisible to laymen. An ecologist must either harden his shell and make believe that the consequences of science are none of his business, or he must be the doctor who sees the marks of death in a community that believes itself well and does not want to be told otherwise,” said by none other, Aldo Leopold. In A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold, an American environmentalist, brought a new idea to the environmentalist’s table: “land ethic.” His idea of a land ethic is a moral responsibility of humans to the natural Earth. Leopold’s idea has been discussed since the publication by a wide variety of people, from the public to scholars. Since
“Conservation laws” (document 8) positively impacted the environment, especially the National Conservation Commision (1909) which was put in place to conserve US natural resources. The National Reclamation Act raised money from the sale of public lands which funded irrigation programs in western states. This Act was installed by Theodore Roosevelt in 1902 “to increase” the land’s “usefulness” (document 6), the irrigation systems allowed crops, animals, and people to prosper. In addition, perhaps the most important act, the National Park Service Act which was enacted in 1916 by Woodrow Wilson after he expressed that “we have not stopped to conserve the exceeding bounty of nature (document 2). The Act was put in place to conserve “scenery”, “natural and historic landmarks”, “wildlife therein” and to “provide enjoyment for future generations”(The National Park Service Act). Environmental issues in the Gilded Age such as resources depletion, ecosystem destruction, air pollution, and public land exploitation all lead to the environmental reforms of the Progressive
John Muir is arguably the most influential conservationist in American history. He was an active member in the preservation of the American wilderness from the late 1800’s until he passed in 1914. Muir is often referred to as the “Father of the National Parks” because of his efforts in the establishment of several National Parks. One of the biggest flaws of American history textbooks in need of change is the fact that they do not include the conservationists who have preserved the environment so today the same beauty can be see the way that they saw it. John Muir was involved in many American conservation efforts including the co-founding of Yosemite National Park, founding of the Sierra Club, and his overall career as a
In the first two centuries of U.S. history was a widespread environmental destruction. In the 19th century there were four people who played a key role in protecting the environment; Henry Thoreau, John Audubon, George Marsh, and President Theodore Roosevelt. The modern environmental movement was in the 19th century Europe and North America as they exposed the cost of environmental negligence. Rachel Carson a Marie Biologist wrote a book in the 1960’s
The 1970’s represent a pivotal point in history that rewrote how America viewed its environmental policies- both on a policymaker and citizen scientist standpoint. As the public became more aware of environmental issues, concern about pollution, improper disposal, dwindling resources, radiation and poisoning enraptured a growing number of supporters. These supporters made it so that unlike the Progressive Era’s conservation movement (1890’s-1920’s), which was mainly elitists, this modern movement was pushed by “the common man.” It was an era that celebrated leaders such as John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Thomas Jefferson. One of those leaders in the forefront of these radical changes was Congressman Morris K.
Unfortunately for this growth, the demand far exceeds the available supply. The Bureau of Reclamation completed the last major dam (Glen Canyon) in 1966. The Bureau built several smaller dams, along with Glen Canyon, under the auspices of the Colorado River Storage Project
Right from the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century, there has been a fierce debate concerning how economic growth or development affects the environment or ecological setup of a country. The debate has its basis on whether it would be recommendable for a nation to concentrate on growing its economy while at the same time hurting or harming its ecological system. Naturalists like Pinchot Gifford, John Muir, Love Canal and Cuyahoga County always argued in favor of environmental preservation as opposed to concentrating all efforts towards developing the economy (Olmes 154; Miller 150-51). This paper will, therefore, discuss the struggle between economics and ecology specifically looking at particular events across the Twentieth Century. It will also attempt to explain the factors involved in the pursuit for change on the way people and the administration perceived the environmental conservation as opposed to economic growth.