Mans dependency on natural resources dates back to the Stone Age where hunting and gathering was a way of life. The natural environment kept being exploited by men as a limitless resource until around 1850 when the growing industrialization also raised concerns over the need of defending the natural world. It earlier got reflected in literary works of Americans and Europeans but it took a shape with the creation of Yellowstone National Park in America that owes its idea to romanticists like George Catlin and Henry David Thoreau who urged the need of preserving wilderness in a Nations Park.

However, the growing concern over the depleting natural resources geared up its momentum in early 20th century where it caught the public attention. It was during this time that two schools of thought emerged that delved on different sides of conserving the environment.

One was the Conservationists led by Gifford Pinchot, who also coined the term conservation in 1907. This school propagated the idea of using natural resources for the maximum good of people wisely and effectively enabling even the future generation to benefit out of it. The other school of thought called the Preservationists led by John Muir believed in preserving the environment in its natural state without human interference.

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