As the nation approaches a 300-million population and a trillion-dollar economy and as our strip cities, industrial complexes, and communities grow, the time remaining to prevent the destruction of our natural environment and erosion of our resources needed to support life is becoming dangerously short.
As each man-made change occurs, it has effects on the environment which we, through shortsightedness, frequently fail to anticipate. And since our physical resources are limited and interdependent, the misuse of each resource alters the availability or usefulness of the others.
The nation is rapidly coming to realize that if action is not taken now on the national, regional, and local levels to preserve our environment, we will soon lack the environment and resources necessary to sustain our civilization and perhaps human life itself.
Where will more and more people live, work, and play? It may soon be true that in many metropolitan areas the nearest open space for a picnic within 25 mi of the downtown area will be the city dump.
Where will we dispose of the waste products of our increasing population and industrialized society?
The conservation of wildlife, wilderness, and recreation land and the pollution of our water, land, and air have finally become matters of public concern.