We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I am standing on top of Bald Mountain in Sonoma Valley, staring profoundly off toward the far Pacific and the dying sun. I scrunch my eyebrows and squint a little, thinking this will add to my overall air of deep thoughtfulness. My facial muscles are responding not to the transporting magic of nature, however, but to another imperative: I need to look good for the camera. Cameras, actually. Off to my side, a young man named Jimmy, whose easygoing professionalism I’ve come to respect over the past 10 days of shooting, points a surprisingly heavy (I have tried to lift it) camera at my head to film me in profile. Up above, a drone swoops over to capture the full grandeur of the moment. Following instructions, I move closer to the edge of the mountain, striking a pose that is meant to say part world conqueror, part shaman. I am a New Age Cortés...
I particularly liked the way the park service banned people from even driving through national parks when their budgets were in peril, so sure, removing tens of thousands of square miles of land from private ownership and commerce and letting unionized, entrenched civil servants control it was absolutely a fabulous idea.
Because private ranchers, forest owners and so on, never, never, never look after their land nor do they let others walk it, camp in it or simply enjoy it. Oh wait - they do all of those things.
I do not understand how this conservative-libertarian website could approve the hideous governmental bludgeon that is the national park system.
You cannot define the problem and the national parks from a distance. A great example of this complex issue it the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It was controversial before and after it's designation. A lot of people within the bounnds of this park are either strongly against or for it. But you have to go there to fully understand it. Most of it was public land before the designation but the land lacked protection and coordinated management. Most ranchers within the new park lost nothing except they expect that over time there will be more restrictions on their ability to run cattle on public lands. But the big winners were the 230 million Americans who didn't own ranches within the boundaries of the GSENM. It is a beautiful place with nooks and crannies to explore. I get to go there once and sometimes twice a year. The ranchers are doing fine and the little towns are enjoying the boom of visitors and campers. But most importantly this beautiful area is forever open to the public.