American Counterculture Reflection The modern Environment Movement began with the passing of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The act established a National Wilderness System and created 9 millions acres. The main influence and writer of the act Howard Zahniser, who felt that we needed wilderness as it takes us away from technology that gives us perspective of mastering the environment rather than being a part of it (Nash, 2001). With the passing of the act Americans questioned both preservation and conservation. A new culture emerged in America that rejected societal norms and praised independence and freedom. This culture developed in the youth of America and sparked change in preservation growth and the overall outlook of wilderness.
The “counterculture” developed during the 1960’s into the 1970’s and during this time period the American mindset questioned normal values and institutions. Over half the population was under 25, many of whom associated themselves with the Hippie Movement. Hippies were all about rejecting and rebelling against monumental societal institutions and were the focus group in the counterculture. The hippies set themselves apart from the “stereotypical man” and wanted to be untamed and wild. They valued the beauty in naturalness and stripping away “the securities of civilization that normally intervene between humans and elemental challenges (Nash, p. 267). They wanted independence and felt that the GNP was not the best indicator of American success.