How The Wilderness Was Won

Skirmishing about environmentalism may well continue forever, but the major war is over. It lasted far longer than most people realize.

One of this century’s profound cultural transformations began in the 1960s, when ecological thought took hold and fostered a new seriousness toward earth stewardship. But what happened then was really a transition. Present-day environmentalism represents an elaboration of core ideas developed far earlier by American conservationists, especially the seminal concepts and plans of the two Presidents Roosevelt and their allies.Read more »

Getting To Know The National Domain

One hundred years ago, Congress created two agencies—the U.S. Geological Survey and the Bureau of Ethnology. Both, according to the author, have since “given direction, form, and stimulation to the science of earth and the science of man, and in so doing have touched millions of lives.”

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Carving The American Colossus

The granite was tough—but so was Gutzon Borglum

In late August, 1970, a band of Sioux Indians entered the sacred precincts of a National Memorial in South Dakota and bivouacked on a mountaintop there for several weeks. The precincts were sacred to the Sioux because they are in the heart of the Black Hills, long regarded by their tribe as the dwelling place of Indian gods and spirits. And, as signaled by the apprehensive behavior of park rangers who monitored the Indians closely during their stay, the precincts are also precious to the United States Department of the Interior.Read more »

Private Fastness: Tales Of Wild

CUMBERLAND ISLAND AND HOW MODERN TIMES AT LAST HAVE REACHED IT

One of the good things that happened in America in 1970—a year otherwise noted for spreading oil slicks, raging forest fires, mercury in rainbow trout, and burgeoning pipelines in the tundra—was the decision by the National Park Service to purchase Cumberland Island, southernmost of the Georgia sea islands and a flaming issue in the long and bitter struggle between real-estate developers and conservationists over the future of the state’s coastline. Read more »

Rocky’s Road

Who runs the country? Administrative agencies. Who runs the administrative agencies? Well, there was this road they were going to put right through the old Rockefeller place, and …

Late last summer, during Nelson A. Rockefeller’s New York gubernatorial campaign, the Rockefeller family announced their intention that their 4,180-acre Westehester property, Pocantwo Hills, shall be “preserved and dedicated to the public interest. ” However, the estate will remain in the family at least for the lifetime of the current owners: Nelson, Laurance, David, and John D. in.Read more »

The Bitter Struggle For A National Park

"We have permanently safeguarded an irreplaceable primitive area," said President Truman as he dedicated Everglades National Park in 1947. Bit what is permanence, and what is "safeguarded"? Did he speak too soon?

Even before there was an Everglades National Park, there was Clewiston. It is said to be the sweetest little city in America, having been sweetened by the United States Sugar Corporation, which raises cane and beef cattle there on 100,000 acres of flat Florida muckland. U.S. Sugar also owns the Clewiston Inn. In the southern comfort of the lounge, one can sit and admire the cane growers’ tribute to the Everglades.Read more »