I would give ten years off the beginning of my life to see, only once, Tyrannosaurs Rex come rearing up from the elms of Central Park, a Morgan police horse screaming in its jaws. We can never have enough of nature.
The slideshow below features an excerpt from Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire. In the following pages (right-click to view in full), Abbey (1927 – 1989) critiques the National Park system and its relationship to the private forces that seek to exploitatively profit from the natural world in the name of wilderness promotion and protection. Abbey, who worked a park ranger for a great deal of his life, offers his views of how Nationals Parks should optimally exist and in turn flourish in an era of cataclysmic environmental destruction. He suggests that upon entering a National Park, a large, animatronic Smokey the Bear could say something like:
“Howdy Folks. Welcome. This is your National Park, established for the pleasure of you and all people everywhere. Park your car, jeep, truck, tank, motorbike, motorboat, jetboat, airboat, submarine, airplane, jetplane, helicopter, hovercraft, winged motorcycle, snowmobile, rocketship, or any other conceivable type of motorized vehicle in the world’s biggest parkinglot behind the comfort station immediately to your rear. Get out of your motorized vehicle, get on your horse, mule, bicycle or feet, and come on in. Enjoy yourselves. This here park is for people.”
The book is a great read. I hope that you get a chance to enjoy it.