Letter to the Editor

Natural wonders

San Luis ObispoSeptember 10, 2013 

Nicholas Kristof wrote that Congress’ hearts can change for a return to protecting the public trust if they witnessed first-hand incredible wonders of nature.

During John Muir’s time in the late 1900s, when he and other noble people created the National Parks, they tackled the forces of extreme capitalism to get it done. Those forces are strong again today.

In the 1900s, Muir and others saved our natural wonders for all to inherit; they believed this to be a tenet of democracy. The current demise of the public trust is much more an ideological struggle than a budget issue. Muir and others won the battle with eloquent, visionary prose. Our priorities are being set by a minority that can’t wait for the fire sale.

This summer along the John Muir Trail, I met a Sequoia-Kings National Park ranger who had just done an all-nighter rescuing an older gentleman in Central Basin; the ranger faces fewer work hours because of sequestration and will have to get other jobs to make it. Later on the trail, we were ironically serenaded three times daily by military jets. At what cost and importance do they play over Mt. Whitney?

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