President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir might have been hiking buddies, except Roosevelt was a conservationist. He was sympathetic to Muir’s beliefs, but probably felt as though Muir’s spiritual and idealistic approach to protecting nature from humans as unrealistic and impractical in the ever-prospering nation. The United States successfully thrived by utilizing it’s natural resources, which Muir detested because he did not think nature was something that should be used. However, I think the conservationist ideal of utilizing nature sustainably and responsibly is a more practical approach than Muir’s preservationist vision. Conservation favors humans and nature engaging in a mutual relationship in which nature gives to us and we give back to it by protecting it. Like Roosevelt, I too am sympathetic to Muir’s beliefs because I value the beauty of nature. Nevertheless, I have come to hold this value from the connection I have built with nature throughout my life by experiencing it’s beauty first-hand. I think that if nature is kept out of sight it will eventually be out of mind. In other words, if people do not co-exist with nature and learn to appreciate all it gives to us, they will live in a mindless state apart from it and will not care to protect it. Thus, it is illogical to ask for support of a preservationist movement that restricts the ability of people to interact with or benefit from nature. A conservationist approach is the best way to secure an environmental legacy for future generations because it wants to keep nature a relevant part of human’s lives so it can be utilized, but also appreciated and protected.
Additional Source: http://www.southernfriedscience.com/?p=11746