Preserved in Wildness

Henry David ThoreauI wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil,'to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than a member of society. I wish to make an extreme statement, if so I may make an emphatic one, for there are enough champions of civilization: the minister, and the school-committee, and every one of you will take care of that.
H D Thoreau "Walking", 1862

Park Remark has transformed. It began as a fun little project to collect interesting news about our National Parks. I turned first to the NPS Morning Report, but soon grew tired of rehashing stories of drug busts, DUI arrests, and accidental deaths. Nearly everyday there are interesting stories about the parks published somewhere in the country. But, so many of these stories are shallow ... "park celebrates anniversary", "best hikes in park", "vip visits park", etc. At some point, the only stories I was interested in commenting on are the ones that are connected to a bigger picture; management policies, privatization, federal budgets, and the like.

As I've focused on these bigger picture issues, my readership has grown. I have enjoyed seeing visitors from around the nation return daily and weekly to read my thoughts on these topics. There is so much noise on the internet. I have wanted to provide a clear signal, to be a voice for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness that the national parks have always represented to me. Increasingly, I've found that to comment accurately on these big park issues requires some time. And it has been more and more difficult for me to find the time that I'd like give to these topics on a daily basis. Finding the time lately has meant that some other activity has been sacrificed (mostly my sleep).

This is not a farewell note. But it is a notice that things are changing here. I would like to provide higher quality content. I would like to include more original media, like audio and video productions. The days of daily posts are probably gone.

Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life, as a dog does his master's chaise. Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still. Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life so. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. All fables, indeed, have their morals; but the innocent enjoy the story. Let nothing come between you and the light. Respect men and brothers only. When you travel to the Celestial City, carry no letter of introduction. When you knock, ask to see God,'none of the servants. In what concerns you much, do not think that you have companions; know that you are alone in the world.
H D Thoreau a correspondence, 1848

My best park memories are the times I have wondered through the wilderness, through places like the beaches of Olympic, the buttes of Lava Beds, remote trails in Devils Tower, the Panamints of Death Valley, the wonderland of Mt Rainier. These places are so special. I am proud that my country has chosen to protect these places. But the federal agency assigned to protect them is under constant pressure to open these places up to commercialization. I didn't believe that so much a year ago, but I am now convinced of it. I need to do more than write a blog about it. I have a desire to take direct action to stop it. If I'm not writing a blog post everyday, my hope is to provide some volunteer labor or service to a non-profit or two which are actively working to stop the encroachment of privatization into the management objectives of our national parks.

Where are we without Wildness? Salvation is not to be found among stock options. Instead, it is as Thoreau wrote in 1862, "that in Wildness is the preservation of the World".