The Land Grab Out West – http://nyti.ms/1tupq9M
It was around the time that I was reading a lot of Wallace Stegner and he wrote about the beautiful brown of the American West. It was then that I decided I wouldn’t be going East again. I’ve had long conversations on the topic of North-easterner (I’m from the NE) land ethic vs. Western land ethic with friends. There is the Sierra Club mentality and then there are the old New Mexican families who control the water rights on huge swaths of land. Who graze their cattle near (on) National Forest Lands. I’ve been startled in the backcountry by a heard of cattle in the Pecos (NM).
When I was in Yosemite last month I was thinking about the National Park system and the idea of Wilderness (Roderick Nash’s Wilderness in the American Mind is the quintessential book on the topic). I hiked through the Ansel Adams Wilderness near Tuolumne. It had me thinking about doing things at scale. Doing anything once is relatively straightforward, doing something at scale is really really difficult. National Parks, transportation systems, urban planning, education systems. All very difficult to plan, manage and operate.
I have strong feelings about public lands. And about private interests trying to profit from resource extraction.
Some places are sacred.