It's a pleasure for me to be here today. I had a prepared talk and last night I decided that isn't what I wanted to say, so I tore it up and got it down in notes, so I am going to talk off the cuff this morning. I'd like to take issue with one point that the Mayor made when he said that the group here was primarily interested in fish and wildlife. I think that is only partially true, I think this group here is primarily interested in people and in people's relationship with fish and wildlife. I've got a tough act to follow-Governor West, I think, set the theme and said many of the things I wanted to say. I couldn't help but be tremendously impressed with his knowledge of the problems of environmental management and conservation and I couldn't help but feel how fortunate we are that the new breed of politicians, of public servants, have been so mindful of the importance of our resources and of man's relationship to them. Secretary Reed and Dr. Timmerman have touched on many of the destructive forces that are within the scope of the subject that I have been asked to speak on and certainly there is no question that man does destroy natural areas. Almost everything he does modifies the environment. But in a sense, he must do this or how else is he going to support the increasing population in this country, and in the world as far as that goes. For the record, it has been estimated that approximately 420,000 acres a year go into urban expansion. Approximately 160,000 acres a year go into airports and highways and somewhere in the neighborhood of 400,000 acres a year go into reservoirs and various flood control structures. So that we have somewhere in the neighborhood of one million acres a year that you might say are being destroyed or removed from most wildlife products. Of course urbanization is continuing in this country, with over 70% of our population living on 3% of the land. This pressure has resulted in tremendous pollution loads and a disproportionate pressure on open space and various types of environmental habitat. History is replete with examples of civilizations which have risen, have exploited unwisely their resources and which have been destroyed. Part of this was moral decline, a lack of drive, a freak or fat fighter who has become soft and is overrun by a hungry fighter. But part of it also was misuse of the resources and destruction of the habitat on which man depended. I can't help but point out, however, that Man has the ability to resurrect even these habitats. I cite for you the example of Israel on the shores of the Mediterranean which developed a viable nation on land which was supposedly exhausted and yet by utilization of his mind, man has been able to do something about it. We're finding now, too, that we can do something about it in this country.

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