Sounding off on public lands

Hannah howling at the woods
Courtesy Mark Williford


Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers,but as fountains of life.

–John Muir


It’s hard for us to imagine what was shaking John Muir’s nerves a hundred years ago. After all, there were no people shouting into their cell phones, no televisions blaring, and no superhighways, information or otherwise. We can only wonder what Muir would have thought of the present electronic din. Luckily, thanks in no small part to his efforts, the forest primeval still exists, a respite for our postmodern, nerve-skaken selves.

In this section you’ll find articles celebrating some unexpected pleasures of our state and national preserves, how they came to be, and a few cautionary tales about the need to protect them.