John Muir was one of America’s most significant naturalists. He was an advocate fo rthe preservation of wilderness in the United States. He wrote many letters and books about his adventures with nature especially in the Californian Mountains.He supported the idea to set aside wilderness areas which were free of commercial or industrial activity. During Muir’s life, this natural resource was in danger of being dammed and turned into a reservoir to help supply San Francisco with water. He fought very hard to try and keep the natural beauty of Hetch Hetchy. Muir was upset with the people trying to build the reservoir. He was so furious that he called them “gain-seekers and mischief-makers...trying to make everything immediately and selfishly commercial.”  Nature is not an essence to certain people who only see the signs of dollarbills flash through their eyes. Muir would do whatever he could to support the protection of wilderness. Muir is obviously very passionate about the preservation of nature. I certainly agree with him in the sense that we must save some of nature’s most beautiful scenes. There is no better feeling then hiking to the top of a mountain and staring at the beautiful view of an ocean or a magnificent valley. The complete silence and the feeling of being secluded is one of the best feelings I have ever had. I completely understand that industries have to build their factories and that we need reservoirs in orde rto survive. However, if we ruin every natural beauty then what will future generations be left with. We need to protect these tranquil sceneries. Tall skyscrapers and shopping malls can be created just about everywhere, but you cannot create natural beauty. We as humans need to stop focusing so much on the amount of money we make and start realizing that what is right in front of us, no dollar amount could produce such beauty.
Gifford Pinchot had other such views regarding nature. He believed that the conservation of natural resources was to meet human needs and desires. He deeply believed in commercializing nature, and he opposed the idea to preserve for the sake of wilderness of scenery. Pinchot continued to say that the greatest thing about conservation is that in stands for development. He believed conservation meant “the recognition of the rightof the present generation to the fullest necessary use of all the resources with which this country is so abundantly blessed.”  Pinchot defiantly takes a more realistic approach and I certainly agree with his views.I am a firm believer that we need to save some of the natural beauty in the world. Furthermore, I think we should be able to save this natural beauty, but also benefit from it as well. I really enjoyed Pinchot’s views on common-sense because I think it is a great theory to live by. Why can’t we have both? We can preserve certain areas of nature mainly for the sake of wilderness and natural beauty, but we can also use nature as a natural resource. Nature can benefit people in many ways. The forestry industry is a huge business that provides jobs for many people. In addition, nature forest provides people with breathtaking scenery. It is great if nature benefits us in more than one way. M yviews are close to those of a realist; therefore, I believe Pinchot’s views on common-sense.
Aldo Leopold has his own set of views because he believed in an ethical relationship between humans and the land. He supported a strong role for humans in the management and protection of the wilderness. One major point Leopold brings about is that itis the people’s responsibility to look after the Earth. Leopold discusses the sequence of ethics. He describes the three main types of ethics. The first being between individuals, the second between individuals and society, and the third being the ethical concern between humans and the environment which is one that hasn’t existed yet. He believes that we need to develop this community concept that empowers people to intricately work together to satisfy the needs of the environment. After reading Leopold essay, I believe that humans do need to have more respect for the environment; however, he doesn’t provide any example on how to do this. It is important to understand how everything works together and is related in nature, but like I said previously, how do we take into consideration the economical and political restrictions that the environment holds? Nonetheless, what I did enjoy about this article is that by giving a very philosophical prospective, we as humans can begin to think outside of our box. This gives us hope that we can change the world in some significant way. Although it might seem unrealistic, in order to achieve our goals we sometimes need to think unrealistically.