President Gale, Chairman Eltzroth, distinguished program members, ladies and gentlemen. It is with great pleasure that I welcome each of you to South Carolina. I am also pleased that the Southeastern Association of Game and Fish Commissioners chose the City of Charleston for its 1971 Conference. My only hope is that you will not hurry home immediately following the close of your meetings, but will stay with us for the remainder of the week and enjoy the many recreational opportunities that South Carolina has to offer. The decade of the 1970's has been referred to by many as being the period in our country's history that will see the greatest amount of change in the utilization of our resources. This change is coming about because we are beginning to realize that resources no longer are restricted to what we extract from the ground, grow in the soil, or cut from our forests, but these resources in reality make up the very environment in which we live. During this period of the 1970's we are also more aware of the fact that the residents of this State, of the Southeastern States represented here, and of the country as a whole are also a part of our resources that must be considered. No longer can we consider natural resources without also considering our human resources. As we move ahead in our efforts to provide for an ever-increasing human population, we are constantly reminded that we must be responsive to the needs of this user. It is for this reason that planning, indepth planning, is a prerequisite to whatever we do. Planning provides for the orderly programming of development, of funding and for determining before a critical need arises where and when we must place our efforts. The Southeastern region, which is so well represented here today, is the sleeping giant which is beginning to stir. Improved transportation facilities place us now within easy driving distance of the population centers of the mid-Atlantic States and the Midwest. As we look at the utilization of our developing parks, our welcome centers and the general activities of tourist organizations, we clearly see that the Southeast is attracting more and more people throughout each of the twelve calendar months. This means as more people are attracted to our region, the demand for space increases, thus placing an increasing premium on our finite resources. The Southeast has also demonstrated its desirability as a site for the production of the goods required by this expanding population. This has provided for economic growth, employment opportunities, changes in land use and population shifts from the farm to the city environments.

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