Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Relating to the Great Swamp Wilderness Area, New Jersey.

September 30, 1968

ON March 29, 1968, I recommended to the Congress that a part of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Morris County, New Jersey, be included in the National Wilderness Preservation System.

The wilderness is situated near the center of the densely populated middle Atlantic coast. By establishing a wilderness close to millions of people--a departure from the usual concept of wilderness--Congress has seized a rare opportunity to provide an island of solitude for those who truly need it.

The area included in this wilderness is the only extensive swamp-forest habitat of its kind in northern New Jersey. It is a unique remnant of unspoiled woods, little changed since the last ice age, and supporting a wide variety of wildlife. Its 3,750 acres are outstandingly suited for careful scientific and educational uses.

As I stated in my January 30, 1967, message to the Congress on protecting our natural heritage:

"Here in America, we started out to do more than simply endure. We intended to live as men should live, working hard, raising families, learning, building--and breathing clean air, swimming in clear streams, finding a part of the forest or the shore where nobody else was.

"If we are to have that America, we shall have to master the consequences of our own prosperity--and the time to begin is now."

The attractiveness of undisturbed solitude, appreciated by all mankind and so sorely needed in the middle Atlantic region, will be perpetually protected and enhanced by the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge Wilderness.

It gives me great pleasure to approve S. 3379.

Note: As enacted, the bill (S. 3379), approved on September 28, 1968, is Public Law 90-532 (82 Stat. 883).

For the President's message to Congress of January 30, 1967, on protecting the natural heritage, see 1967 volume, this series, Book I, Item 20.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Relating to the Great Swamp Wilderness Area, New Jersey. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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