The ecologic and economic futures of entire ecosystems became a growing concern during these decades.
"The concept of a wilderness system marked an innovation in the history of the American preservation movement."
—Roderick Nash from Wilderness and the American Mind, 1967
Sierra Club Executive Director David Brower leads successful opposition to development of Echo Park Dam at Dinosaur N.M.
Scientist Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring, stirring public consciousness about pesticides and the environment.
Authored by Howard Zahniser of the Wilderness Society, the Wilderness Act creates the National Wilderness Preservation System.
Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Wilderness becomes the first FWS wilderness to be added to the NWPS.
The National Environmental Policy Act is passed, requiring public involvement in land management planning and systematic evaluation of the environmental impacts of proposed projects on public lands.
Senator Gaylord Nelson founds Earth Day, focusing national attention on the environment.
Petrified Forest N.P. and Craters of the Moon N.M. become the first NPS sites to include designated wilderness areas.
The Eastern Wilderness Act is passed, allowing additional lands with wilderness character and potential to be included in the NWPS.
The Federal Land Policy and Management Act designates the BLM as the fourth federal agency to manage wilderness.
President Jimmy Carter signed the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act establishing 10 new NPS sites, 9 wildlife refuges, and additional BLM conservation units.
The Bear Trap Canyon portion of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness is designated, the first wilderness managed by the BLM.
Grand Staircase-Escalante N.M. is created, the BLM's first national monument, including 1.7 million acres of the most remote wild lands in the lower 48 states.