My country's political climate has been dismal for the last two weeks. In previous years, I rarely kept track of the news because it seemed that good news was a rarity and I chose to be blissfully ignorant. However, that ignorance has been difficult to come by since January 20. By choice and by association, staying away from current events is impossible on social media, at work, walking around town, in my email, etc...Now for the first time in my life, I find myself paying attention and seeking more information and participating because of the grave and very real attack on what I believe is important to us all, our environment.
Each and every one of us lives, works, recreates, relies upon the environment every day of our lives. Even if the most time you spend outdoors is walking from your car to the grocery store, you are reliant on the air, the water, the food, the overall climate. For me and many others in the country, the outdoors is far more than air, water, soil, trees. It's a gestalt that provides our place of worship, a place to grow and learn, a place to deepen or develop relationships. Simply put, the outdoors is to be appreciated and cherished and protected.
Given, in our day and age, we require resources to function as a society. But to sell off lands owned by the people and that has infinite value to millions for the short-term gain of a few is wrong and very, very short-sighted. To take away protections for the water that we ourselves drink, rely upon for crops of food, and play in is beyond belief. Our representative's willingness to do such things and their motives, which basic common sense should say is wrong, is confusing and frustrating.
I have hope, though. Just this week Utah Representative Chaffetz withdrew his bill to sell off 3.3 million acres of our public land thanks to the outcry of constituents. However, there are still a number of other bills just as sinister waiting to be passed. If you care about these issues find your representatives and call them. Tell them you care. It helps ease the feeling of helplessness.
"Leave it as it is. You cannot improve upon it. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it."
My belief is that Theodore Roosevelt's words apply to all of our natural world, not only the Grand Canyon. He knew it then, let's remind them of it now.
This post is filled with photos of OUR PUBLIC LANDS.