National Parks have been called "America's best idea" and I heartily agree. For me what makes national parks great is that at their core they are truly democratic.
Setting aside lands as a national park grew out of America's European roots. In Europe common lands were held by the crown and reserved mainly for the elite. In 1872 America rejected the model of parks as playgrounds for the rich, when it established Yellowstone as the world's first national park. Since then nearly 400 additional special places have been added to our park system. Many of these sites were first advanced by concerned citizens who believed their forest, river, mountain deserved national park designation. Today Americans across the country including those living around Mount St. Helens are urging park recognition for their nearby wonders.
Unleashing Colter's Hell is set in Yellowstone and tells the story of a terrorist strike at our nation's heart, at democracy itself. Look for the novel to come out soon.
What place would you add to the park system?