The parks do not belong to one state or to one section…. The Yosemite, the Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon are national properties in which every citizen has a vested interest; they belong as much to the man of Massachusetts, of Michigan, of Florida, as they do to the people of California, of Wyoming, and of Arizona.”
“Who will gainsay that the parks contain the highest potentialities of national pride, national contentment, and national health? A visit inspires love of country; begets contentment; engenders pride of possession; contains the antidote for national restlessness…. He is a better citizen with a keener appreciation of the privilege of living here who has toured the national parks. Stephen T. Mather, NPS Director, 1917-1929
On March 2nd, 1899 President William McKinley signed legislation creating Mount Rainier National Park. This week marks the 118th birthday of our fifth National Park and though I’m fortunate enough to see the lovely mountain almost every day from a car this photo was taken during my first visit inside the park in 2008.
Some my happiest days have been spent in our National Parks but while most of us have grown up with an awareness of the National Park Service we can’t take its existence for granted. The political road our country has taken is placing these pristine treasures directly in harm’s way with a new bill introduced in Congress that encourages drilling in National Parks as well as orders to roll back the Waters of the U.S. rule protecting wetlands and headwaters and effecting 60% of the water bodies in our country. Combined with dramatic budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, relaxing limits on greenhouse gas emissions and lifting the moratorium on federal coal leasing across 570 million publicly owned acres means the direction of our land management and the health of our natural public treasures will be forever changed.
I’ve been posting a series of my favorite National Park photos on the NW Frame of Mind Instagram account and on my personal Twitter account using the hashtags #ProtectOurParks and #NationalParks. If you’d like to see more Parks photos please feel free to follow along and then post yours on your favorite social media platform. Let me know if you do so I can see and share your work! Together we can make a difference.
The American way of life consists of something that goes greatly beyond the mere obtaining of the necessities of existence. If it means anything, it means that America presents to its citizens an opportunity to grow mentally and spiritually, as well as physically. The National Park System and the work of the National Park Service constitute one of the Federal Government’s important contributions to that opportunity. Together they make it possible for all Americans–millions of them at first-hand–to enjoy unspoiled the great scenic places of the Nation…. The National Park System also provides, through areas that are significant in history and prehistory, a physical as well as spiritual linking of present-day Americans with the past of their country. Newton B. Drury, NPS Director, 1940-1951
Posted as part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: The Road Taken.