...and the National Park Service. We personally experienced the wonders of the National Park in Washington State and recently even in New York City, on Governors Island. We discovered talking to the Park Rangers that National Park Service jobs are the most coveted - and among the lowest paying - jobs in the field. Yet the workers do a spectacular job of making sure that we have access to a variety of beautiful, natural places to visit all over the country. These places are fundamental to reminding us that we are all part of something bigger, and I would go as far as saying that the National Park system is one of the greatest things about living in the United States.
And now it is under attack. The draft of the Bush Administration's new national park management policy allows for greater commercial and recreational activities that are inherently at odds with the National Park Service's mandate to protect our national parks. Yes, instead of "protect," the mandate has been shifted to "conserve," and it seems that conservation is for the benefit of humans, not of our eco-system.
As this New York Times editorial "Destroying the National Parks" eloquently states,
There is no question that we go to national parks to use and enjoy them. But part of the enjoyment of being in a place like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon is knowing that no matter how much it changes in the natural processes of time, it will continue to exist substantially unchanged.