Green!  . . . by ALL MEANS 


from the David R. Brower Archive ®

"Wilderness protection is paper thin, and the paper should be the best we can get -- that upon which Congress prints its acts."

A conservationist effort to look ahead as far as the commodity producers are looking -- to find out what scenic resources are left, to make an estimate of the future's need for them, and to devise ways of protecting them in time.

John Brower

Scenic Resources
for the Future


by David R. Brower




Scenic Resources for the Future

Why can't Johnny read? 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 the Glacier Peak country 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 birthday.

Which brings 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.

There aren't 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. . . .

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Reprinted from Sierra Club Bulletin, December 1956.

THE 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.