In our current political climate, National Parks, Monuments, and Public Lands that were once protected are now in danger of being opened to mining, drilling, logging, and development. These videos are a powerful reminder of the reasons we preserved these places. Watch them, share them, and most of all contact your elected officials and let them know how important these wild places are.
You can find contact info for your Federal and State elected officials here.
Wallace Stegner might be best known for his prolific writing career of both fiction and nonfiction. He won a Pulitzer Prize for Angle of Reposeand the National Book Award for The Spectator Bird.In 1960 Stegner turned his literary talents towards conservation and penned a Letter to Congress urging them to preserve wilderness.
A passage from the letter:
"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed; if we permit the last virgin forests to be turned into comic books and plastic cigarette cases; if we drive the few remaining members of the wild species into zoos or to extinction; if we pollute the last clear air and dirty the last clean streams and push our paved roads through the last of the silence, so that never again will Americans be free in their own country from the noise, the exhausts, the stinks of human and automotive waste . . . ”
More than anyone else we have John Muir to thank for the wilderness that has been preserved in the United States. Muir famously convinced Theodore Roosevelt to explore Yosemite with him and his influence directly resulted in Roosevelt's creation of the first National Monument and the creation of the first National Park.
"If you think about all the gains our society has made, from independence to now, it wasn't government. It was activism. People think, 'Oh, Teddy Roosevelt established Yosemite National Park, what a great president.' BS. It was John Muir who invited Roosevelt out and then convinced him to ditch his security and go camping. It was Muir, an activist, a single person." - Yvon Chouinard
Visiting a National Park is a transformative experience, especially as a child. Countless hikers and backpackers first fell in love with the backcountry with a trip to a National Park.
"You are the parks and the parks are you – it’s a powerful message and one that highlights the point that these magnificent places exist because of supporters like you." - National Parks Foundation
Tomorrow Somewhere New tells the story of a family that sold their home, bought an Airstream, and hit the road. They now spend their time exploring National Parks and enjoying the great outdoors. You might not be ready to take your adventures to the same level, but their story will inspire a desire to see places you've never been and then fight to preserve them.
Adventurer Pazson Woelber created this beautiful video with images from a trip exploring Gates of the Arctic National Preserve. Combined with the moving words of Robert Marshall this video will make you want to spend more time in the backcountry.
"Between 1929 and 1939, Robert Marshall explored and mapped the Brooks Range mountains of Alaska. The compilation of his writing Alaska Wilderness: Exploring the Central Brooks Range is a classic of outdoor and conservationist literature." - The World Beyond the World
You If you haven't already, contact our elected officials and let them know why wilderness must be preserved here.
Hiking... it is both calming and energizing. It is when I often feel most free. It can be whatever you want it to be- thoughtful or meditative, relaxing or challenging. It is a way to connect with the natural world, with others, and with yourself. It makes you more appreciative, and helps you understand your relative size. You discover beautiful things on every trail. It is one of the healthiest and most refreshing activities available.
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