Once there was a place called California,"" this author says sadly, and once he thought he lived there. Call him a reactionary if you like; after all, he does not hesitate to advocate discouraging further growth of the state, for instance by not building more dams or highways. Mr. Dasmann is a distinguished conservationist and wildlife biologist, but unlike so many of his colleagues, he extends his definition of conservation to include ""the ecology of man's environment and the social organizations that (man) uses to achieve a state of well-being within that environment."" Thus his pleas for planning and foresight are as comprehensive in viewpoint as in substantive fact. The review of such pressing problems as water supply, air pollution, and the squandering of natural resources is eloquent, and convincing. History, science, and aethetic considerations have been blended in an explicit statement of present conditions, future dangers, and resolute but realistic hopes for the reversal of disastrous trends. The message, of course, is not merely relevant to California, but speaks urgently to all.