What American Public Lands Mean to Me

When I think back on many of the best moments of my life, several common denominators can be observed.  One of the most typical of these is the type of places that these occurred.

My family has always seeked out places of natural beauty for our vacations and other recreational pursuits.  I certainly continue this legacy, as I am always heading out to some beautiful place to pursue my latest photographic or hiking pursuit.  Since meeting my wife, we have planned vacations that centered around places like this. Lucky for us, some of the most spectacular scenery to be found on terra firma is right here at home and it’s open to us all.

Whether it was combing the surf battered rocks of Oregon’s coast or craining our necks to see the canopy of a virgin redwood forest, most of these moments occured on American public lands.  We are fortunate that our country was expanded and settled in a time when awareness and respect for the natural environment wasn’t far off in the future.  Even more so that we had visionaries like Gifford Pinchot, Teddy Roosevelt, John Muir, Thomas Moran, and countless others influencing/creating national policy towards our wild treasures.

We hear a lot about what has made our country great in terms of our economy and our tenacious defense of liberty.  Our beautiful (and plentiful) public lands are one of the things that sets us apart from other countries.  Achievements like creating the world’s first national park and the Wilderness Act of 1964 have made us a worldwide leader in the preservation of earth’s natural treasures.

Below are some of my favorite memories created on our public lands:

 

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