The Wilderness Act was signed into law on September 3, 1963 with its concise and poetic definition:
“A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”
Most likely, a young person today anywhere in the U.S. will finish high school and not know of William O. Douglas. For anyone familiar with the legacy of William O. Douglas this is insupportable. This project is valuable not only as a vehicle to help secure his place in broadly understood history. More important, his ideas and philosophy are fundamental wellsprings in a genuine democratic society. Does a youth of today have to be on the school Constitution Team to study these ideas and understand the magnitude of these issues? The thought and values expressed by Justice Douglas should be passed on to a new generation and reiterated for all U.S. citizens.
The end result of this project is to create an educational asset for use in institutions, libraries, and media centers for environmental and legal studies. Sales can be structured to allow the institutions public performance rights (free screenings in public venues) for the film.
Numerous recently launched streaming services and on demand cable options have a tremendous growth factor and present an exceptional future opportunity for the distribution of Liberty and Wilderness. Broadcast entities including, but not limited to PBS and regional Public Broadcast stations will also be targeted.
"His environmentalist activities and his belief in the right to be let alone were elements of the same impulse: the need to preserve space from governmental intrusion for the development of the integrated individual. Both realms fostered autonomy of the individual, and the independent consciousness, which, for Douglas, were necessary ingredients for democracy... The depletion of either signified a diminishment of the national character."
Defenses of Solitude: Justice Douglas, the Right to Privacy, and the Preservation of the American Wilderness, Diana Winters, (Ph.D. Dissertation, Harvard University, 2003)