- Historic Sites
When Dismal Swamps Became Priceless Wetlands
American attitudes toward them have taken a 180-degree turn over the last century—and so have the battles they provoke
May/June 1994 | Volume 45, Issue 3
And even positive attitudes can have negative consequences. The ecologist Aldo Leopold wrote gloomily that “all conservation of wilderness is self-defeating, for to cherish we must see and fondle, and when enough have seen and fondled, there is no wilderness left to cherish.” Wetlands may suffer in the future from the pressures of affection as they have suffered in the past from those of dislike; the more they are denned as unaltered natural landscapes, the more they invite use that will alter them.