Robert Marshall

The physical, biological and psychological necessity of wild places.



"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed;"

"never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise...and ...waste.

"it was the challenge against which our character as a people was formed."   Wallace Stegner



“I love the woods and solitude. . . “

p. 202.

“the greatest values of wilderness were mental.”

“was its capacity for meeting human needs.”

p. 204

“This is not to say that all remaining wilderness was inviolable.”

“…concerning undeveloped regions.”

p. 205.

“the threat public works projects posed to wild country.”

“only a small number would opt for the wild”

p. 204

  “the human need for peace”

p. 203

  Quality and quantity “applied equally well to the allocation of land.”

p. 204



From sentiments to organizations

1934-1935, Marshall and Leopold organize the forerunner of the “Wilderness Society”


“ an appreciation of its multiform emotional, intellectual, and scientific values.”


Robert Sterling Yard’s “the gospel of wilderness.”

p. 207.


Quetico-Superior wilderness advocacy case


Isaac Walton League of America

Sigurd Olsen’s books


December 17, 1949, Executive order to protect the Q-S air space, President Truman.

1/12/1965, area designated as wilderness.

p. 209.


The Green River at Echo Park and the Echo Park Dam controversy

p. 209.


What is the purpose of a river to serve needs or to merely exist?


Colorado River Storage Project

            Bureau of Reclamation (*1902, created to irrigate the western arid regions)

            1915, Woodrow Wilson: designated Dinosaur National Monument

p. 209.

“dominating conservation politics in the 1950s”         “a test case”


Population growth:  76 million in 1900 to 150.5 million in 1950s

1915    100 million

1968    200 million


150,520,798, an increase of 14.5 percent decade, California had 10.6 million

“Consequently Echo Park had the characteristics of a showdown.”


Wm. Voigt Jr., 1959 testimony to defend wild places, so designated.

P. 210.

  “most statements were ambivalent,”  1950

The American Conservation tradition was fracturing over wild lands:

conservation              versus              preservation

Dams                                                                           National Monuments

water for irrigation                                                        scientific value

electricity                                                                      scenic canyons

prosperity                                                                     wildlife & fisheries

population growth                                                         desert land protection


“caught in a conflict of values”


“Beneficial river development worked against the benefit of having wilderness.”


1950 EP dam was approved.

p. 211.

“recreational and wilderness values.”


Wallace Stegner… the importance of keeping Dinosaur wild.”

p. 212.

Howard Zahniser sought a benefactor “wealthy St. Louis chemical manufacturer.”

p. 213.  

“What have we wrought?”     a civilization if you can keep it

“Reestablish contact with nature.”

U.S. Grant III


“a spiritual necessity, and antidote to the strain of modern living.”

p. 213

Wild areas are a necessity “for our success in dealing with the confusions of a materialistic and sophisticated civilization.”


Olaus Murie, partner of Mardy Murie, biologists.

p. 214

“pictorial evidence”


“We have had money changers in our temples before.” David Bradley, N.H. MD

p 215

despite the House Committee approval of the dam and the CRSP, a flood of letters to Congress “postponed ” the decision.

  April 11, 1956 a bill with the dam deleted became law passing both houses of Congress.

  “growth in the political weight of preservation.…putting enough pressure on Congress to overcome the arguments of other interest groups.”

p. 219.

The fight to stop Echo Park catalyzed the movement and Zahniser to insist on a network of protection for a nationwide network of wilderness areas.

p. 221

“As early as 1921, Benton MacKaye advocated a nationwide system of wilderness belts along mountain ridges.”

p. 220.

“The concept of a wilderness system marked an innovation in the history of the American Preservation movement.”

p. 222.

“By 1980 wild rivers were one of the nation’s rarest resources, an endangered species comparable in some opinions to condors and grizzlies.”

pp. 236-237.

“represent antipodal values”  

p. 237.

Wild | Climate | Biodiversity | nature as an asset | reflecting ecologically | Airs, Waters and Places