As this latest column goes live on Hit the Trail, I will be returning from a visit to Killarney National Park in Ireland. Besides having enjoyed the landscape and the exploration of a sliver of my own ancestry, I will most certainly be brimming with a sense of pride. For it was the United States of America that began the national park movement in 1872 with the founding of Yellowstone National Park.
This was a movement that would one day spread to dozens of countries across the globe. The network of national parks that preserve our natural and cultural heritage has famously been referred to by author Wallace Stegner as “America’s best idea.”
I have no doubt that I’ll be rededicating my professional and personal life to the protection and enjoyment of these irreplaceable treasures. It takes everyone one of us to ensure that they are not compromised by neglect or encroachment by the few at the expense of the many.
Follow this link for a somber, yet energizing article by Audrey Peterman, who recently sent out a call to arms for all who hold these places dear. May of all our readers have a wonderful Independence Day in the land of the free, and home of the brave.