Stewardship of Resources

This will be the first of several posts on this topic because there are many levels that I want to talk about. First we're going to look BIG PICTURE!

I'll be one of the first to admit that I've been mightily spoiled by the incredible riches of our state and national parks. The United States obviously has the opportunity to set aside so much space because we have so much space. But I'd also like to think that it's because we, as a nation, value setting some of our land aside. Whether it be for it's beauty or it's history or for reverance - we value what this means.
In a sense, it's like tithing. The reason for tithing is so that we learn to live on less than we make. Setting aside parks not only allows everyone to hold this land in common, to enjoy and use, but it means that we have to learn to live on just that much less land.
Some parks are very large. In fact the largest National Park is "Wrangell-St. Elias located in the Eastern region of South-central Alaska. The Chugach, Wrangell, and St. Elias mountain ranges converge here in what is often referred to as the "Mountain Kingdom of North America." It is the largest national park in the United States, six times the size of Yellowstone. Wrangell-St. Elias encompasses over 20,000 square miles of mountain wilderness - that's over 50,000 square kilometers, or 25% larger than Switzerland!"
Some of these parks are very small. The smallest being in Guthrie, Oklahoma to commemorate the land rush but it ended up being so small due to the deed being written improperly.
But no matter what the size they all have a story to tell and stories are what make us different from other animals. Stories are what we will pass on to our children and the next generations.
So as we continue to think about stewardship let's consider what it means to be a Steward of our natural and national park resources in the sense of keeping them available for future generations. This is never the sexy part of any government's budget but one that we would all miss if it left or if we had to start paying, or paying substantially more, for the opportunity to enjoy and explore the wonders of this great land. I know, I'm a geek, but I think it's a Cool Idea!


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