According to a recent report from the National Parks Conservation Service, that last part of the equation is problematic at several national parks, including Sequoia, Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks. Startlingly, the report names Sequoia and Kings Canyon as among the parks with the worst air pollution in the country, meaning that the parks “had unhealthy air for most park visitors and rangers to breathe for more than two months of the year, mostly in the summer months.”
You are the proud owner of over 250 million acres of land (external link) — majestic redwoods, breath-taking beaches, and erupting volcanoes. Over 100 years ago, President Theodore Roosevelt Jr. signed into action the Antiquities Act which paved way for the protection of the beautiful valleys and mountain tops of our national monuments.
My journey exploring our public lands and the outdoors coincided with my journey inward, exploring my cultural identity. And as those paths intertwined, I came to realize that when we learn to feel a sense of ownership and responsibility for both our natural and cultural spaces, we have richer, fuller, and more empowering experiences.