Our National Identity and National Parks

There's a column that ran yesterday in a California newspaper that was focused largely on California's state park system and threats it faces from development.
Familiar sounding theme, no?
The author, Dennis Clausen, a professor of American literature at the University of San Diego, also found space in his column to talk about national parks and how vital it is that they, too, be protected from the pressures of development.
Political leaders like Thomas Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt understood that America would remain America so long as our national identity and values were deeply embedded in the natural landscape. Our parks are lifelines that the past has thrown into the future to keep those dreams and values alive. They preserve the promise of America for each new generation.
The column is short and a worthwhile read.