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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Things get bad, Time to sell our national parks?

Seems like a silly question, but there are actually some in Congress who are calling for the selling of our parks. This despite the fact that parks are huge economic engines and actually generate wealth for the country. But even if the parks didn't generate economic benefits, now is not the time to sell the farm.
Congressional leaders like Cliff Stearns see national parks like a Cadillac. A frivolous luxury that should be sold in times of trouble. But national parks aren't like a vehicle valued for its utility and easily replaced. National parks are more like a family photo album, valued for what they represent: family, community, freedom. Once sold those values are lost forever.
Besides the national parks have weathered far worse: the end of the Civil War, two world wars, a great depression, the attacks of September 11th. Rather than selling the national parks during these times of crisis, Americans turned to them. They needed the parks to heal, relax, and remind them of what's important.
Today's tough economy will pass. It always does. So, no it's not the time to sell our national heritage. It's time to turn to our parks and protect them for future generations of Americans who will need them as well.
Look for my new novel Unleashing Colter's Hell to be out soon.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

National Parks: the new Golden Goose

During these tough economic times, communities across the country are looking for ways to create a diversified and sustainable economy. Not surprisingly, many communities are waking up to the economic benefits that flow from the national park system. Recently, Michigan State University released a report which shows that national park visitors pump more than $31 billion into America's economy and support more than a quarter million jobs. The reason parks are such a huge economic benefit is directly related to the fact that the natural and cultural wonders contained in our parks are protected and preserved for both present and future enjoyment. But like the story of the Golden Goose, we must be careful not to kill the very thing that provides the gold. Adequate safeguards and regulations must remain in place to insure that the natural wonders and spectacular wildlife that draw the visitors are protected for the longterm.

My new political thriller Unleashing Colter's Hell, details some of the challenges park rangers face everyday in their job to protect the parks, while providing safe public enjoyment. Look for it on Amazon soon.