When the first Europeans settled in what is now the United States, they found a continent of extensive wildlands. In less than 500 years, the undeveloped nature of these wildlands has been reduced significantly. As they became increasingly scarce and a fledgling conservation movement lost natural treasures like Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley to development, Americans began to appreciate their value.
With passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964, a new course in history was chartered — to preserve some of the country’s last remaining wild places and protect their natural processes and values from development. Read more »