On a trail high above western North Carolina’s spectacular Linville Gorge, I’m hacking at the base of a stubborn Carolina rhododendron with a pulaski ax. The trunk and roots of this “rhodo” seem to get broader and stronger the deeper I dig.
Befitting a pioneer nation, many of our most revered natural landscapes, from the Grand Canyon to Yosemite, are in the west. However, the roots of American conservation lie firmly in the eastern half of the country, as do many pieces of extraordinary designated wilderness.
With land management agencies being in the spotlight lately, it is important for us to keep in mind the role agencies play, the value public lands bring to our communities and why we as a country can be thankful that those before us thought ahead by creating public agencies that would work on
Colorado’s Thompson Divide reminds us of the indivisible relationship that many Americans have with wild places. Our nation’s wildlands have long provided communities economic stability and crucial natural resources that allow them to survive.