By Samuel P. Hays
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Additional info for A History of Environmental Politics Since 1945
By the late s a National Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission was preparing a report that advocated major outdoor programs to facilitate hiking and river recreation.
The development of aﬀordable photographic equipment after World War II enabled people to capture these forms of the natural world themselves to share their excitement and experience with others; it also predisposed them to purchase magazines or books with color photography and to watch wildlife television programs. In wilderness activism, the first impulse often was to capture the visual grandeur of an area on film and share it with others, usually with a slide show; that beauty frequently was enough to convince skeptical government administrators and legislators to support preservation of an area.
Those eﬀects have been profound. Demands placed by urbanization on the countryside modified rural land use, altered water cycles, degraded the quality of water in its streams, changed the habitats of plants and animals, and deposited chemicals from the cities onto its lands and waters. Areas of large, intact forest land were carved up into smaller parcels by urban residents who wanted to own their own piece of the woods, with fragmenting eﬀects on wildlife and wild resources generally. Water pollution increased indirectly as urban people consumed more and more mineral resources and stimulated mining-based water pollution, and directly as they deposited waste in rivers and modified the aquatic environment of rivers, lakes, estuaries, and oceans.
A History of Environmental Politics Since 1945 by Samuel P. Hays