Those who go into the wilderness for their pleasure are philosophers and dreamers and they may travel far for the enjoyment that only the wild can give. They do not come entirely for the fishing or the game or even for the scenery, though all these may be important. What they come for most is atmosphere and the feeling that here things have not changed, that here is the charm of the old and primitive.
Deprive a country or a portage of its atmosphere by too much artificialization and you have taken from it its personality, for one is empty without the other. Make the old trails all alike, make them merely convenient swiftly travelled roadways between the lakes and the thrill of knowing them is gone. One might as well try and improve an old masterpiece mellowed by age as try and improve a portage that has been used for centuries. The result is the same, a sacrifice of inherent uniqueness for the efficiency of the new.
Sigurd F. Olson
Minnesota Conservationist, April 1936