Tinkering With Perfection
There's a thoughtful opinion piece in the Record Searchlight of Redding, California, that does a pretty good job of summing up the ideological battle that's been raging over the management of our national park system for some time now. You know, the one about whether we need more commercialism in the parks to make them entertaining.
In his opinion, Bob Madgic says we'd be foolhardy to think we could improve on nature.
Our parks are finest when experienced, by camping, walking, hiking, rock climbing, snowshoeing, biking, cross-country skiing, photographing, rafting, birding, angling, boating, rafting, riding, swimming, backpacking -- all best done without leaving a trace, he writes. Yes, let's strive to make this group of users as large and diverse as possible. For anyone to argue that our national parks need to return to a better past -- i.e., more commercial enterprises -- misses the point entirely.
Our parks are precious precisely because of their natural authenticity, already too compromised. They cannot be all things to all people, and we should not try to remake them into something other than the magnificent sanctuaries they are.