by Brett Farrell
Several weeks ago, Donald Trump issued an executive order that threatens a great deal of land that has been protected as National Monuments- a break from the land conservation our nation has worked so hard to create.
This news made my plans with friend, David Herron to travel to the southwest a bit more serious.
We wanted to travel, to run and relax in the astounding areas of Arizona and Utah but with these threats we decided to travel to a spot on this National Monument hit list- The Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
The National Monument is a 1.9 million acre area with incredible landscape, geographical wonders, dinosaur fossil discoveries dating back 75 million years and some of the least light polluted night skies in the country.
Our minds were blown.
As we traveled through beautiful landscapes and made our way through the Peekabo slot canyons it was hard to imagine that this land would ever be sold off. It was easy to think that this amazing area of our country will stay protected, that nature will prevail but a lot of things have surprised me lately and I choose to not take it for granted.
The executive order made me think more about public lands and the prioritizing of protecting areas over the idea of those looking to profit off of it. If I had to tell Secretary of Interior, Ryan Zinke one thing to defend this land what would it be?
And the answer I keep going back to is something I heard astrophysicist, Neil Degrasse Tyson say, "to leave the earth how nature intended it to be."
Because when I am camping at night in an area like Grand Staircase and there are just dirt roads, starry skies, and only the quiet sounds of the natural world I feel a little more like myself- more like how I think nature intended me to feel.
It is a state of being that is not focused on the self or the trivial issues and stresses of the day. It's where my perspective of my little spot in the world and universe becomes positioned properly- and as it actually is.
And I cant help but think that if everyone lived a little closer to the natural world we would all be better off.
NATIONAL MONUMENTS, LIKE GRAND STAIRCASE-ESCALANTE ARE UNDER REVIEW AND YOU CAN HELP PROTECT THEM.
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