With the Environmental Protection Agency currently under attack, it’s a good time to reflect on what big swaths of this country looked like before Richard Nixon created the organization in 1970. Almost 50 years ago, the Republican former president commissioned a photography project called Documerica to illustrate miles and miles of environmental degradation, advocating for the need for the agency. The following are some of the most striking images from that project.
Photo: In the 1970s, the Moab City Dump created haze and smoke visible in the nearby town. The La Sal Mountains are seen behind the burning rubble.