Because he's only three, our youngest. But, he walks quite well
for his age. He covered nine of our ten miles of the trail into
last summer on his first wilderness trip. That was far enough.
Very few miles more, and he would have walked out the other side;
none of us wanted to get back to civilization that soon.
John is not much different
from other children you know who are his age and who, before
you know it, will be voting for president for their first time.
The very year they do, this nation will celebrate its two hundredth
me to the point. How beautiful will America be then?
And when John
is about as old as his father is now -- which will happen, God
willing, much sooner than he thinks -- he'll be able to bid one
millennium good-bye and watch the year 2000 come in. In an understandable
way, that puts me there too. It gets me to wondering what wilderness
will be there for him to walk his youngest into; what wild creatures
and natural beauty in a world otherwise filled with artifacts;
what choice of scenic experience for a whole crowded land, hardly
two generations away.
many places left where we, ourselves, can choose whether to exploit
or leave wild. Although the budget of natural things may have
looked unlimited to grandfather, we know it is a finite budget.
Wildness is a fragile thing. Man can break it, but not make it.
And we are quite capable, in our own time, of breaking it all
-- quite capable of using up all the choices America will ever
have between saving and spending what is left of its unmarred
natural heritage. . . .
Reprinted from Sierra Club
Bulletin, December 1956.
SIERRA CLUB invites
participation in its program -- a program that needs continuing
and wise support -- to preserve wilderness, wildlife, forests
and streams. Write the Secretary, Sierra Club, 1050 Mills Tower,
San Francisco 4.