President Obama and all park rangers share something else in common.
We've all lived in National Parks.
As the President notes in this video, the White House is a national park. I've got the President beat on this matter, as I've lived in three parks: Glacier, the North Cascades, and Yellowstone.
Like the President, my time living in national parks underlined to me that these places belong to all Americans including those yet unborn.
National Parks are the physical manifestation of what Americans hold dear. However, they are even more, they provide a path forward to a better world.
America faces significant challenges. However, I've seen the power of national parks to break down barriers and reveal the common ground we all share. Sharing common ground and understanding is the first step in a conversation which can lead to real and lasting change.
As the President reminds us, it will take all of us to protect our parks and planet. But in the end, it shouldn't be that difficult, because by protecting our parks, we are really protecting ourselves.
Sean Smith is a former Yellowstone Ranger, and an award winning conservationist, TEDx speaker, and author. He writes national park thrillers from his home in the shadow of Mount Rainier National Park. To learn more about his thrillers click here or follow him on twitter: @parkthrillers