Fleeing to the Mountains – by Nicholas Kristof – NYT

“This is our collective patrimony, a tribute to the wisdom of Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot and other visionaries who preserved our wild places for the future. Thank God for them. Otherwise, these lands might have been carved up and sold off as ranches for the rich.

Because of the foresight of past generations, the federal government owns one million square miles, an area three times the size of California, Oregon and Washington combined. Much of this is unspoiled, our inheritance and our shared playground.Yet today, President Trump sees this heritage as an opportunity for development. More aggressively than past administrations, Trump’s is systematically handing over America’s public lands for private exploitation in ways that will scar the land forever.”

This Land Is My Land (And Yours, Too!) by Nicholas Kristof – The New York Times

“NOT to boast, but that image is me enjoying a pristine alpine lake I own in the California Sierras. It’s property so valuable that Bill Gates could never buy it. Yet it’s mine.But wait! Don’t stalk off — it’s also yours! It’s part of America’s extraordinary, but now threatened, heritage of public lands. These lands are being starved of funds to sustain them and are the target of an ideological battle, with the new Republican Party platform arguing that certain federal lands should be handed over to the states. Which lands aren’t specified.

This objective is sad, because America was the first country in the world to take its most stunning scenic places and turn them into a shared space belonging to all — an element of what Wallace Stegner called America’s “best idea.” ”

Source: This Land Is My Land (And Yours, Too!) – The New York Times