Over the weekend, our Executive Director John Tynan shared some personal stories in the Post & Courier about what our sacred public lands mean to him and his family:
Among other things, he wrote about falling in love in St. John’s, proposing on the rim of the Grand Canyon, and sharing with his children the significance of the Statue of Liberty — all treasured sites protected under the Antiquities Act.
Because, as you may know, these protected public lands are currently under threat from the federal government.
Just last week, the Department of the Interior sent a report to the president containing the results of a “review” of Antiquities Act protected sites. The review is not yet public, but Interior has stated that they recommend shrinking protections for a number of these federal lands…
… despite strong objections from more than 2.8 million Americans who spoke out against this terrible idea.
John shared his stories to make a few points — namely that we cannot afford to turn our backs on these national treasures and that we’re all touched by land protection in some way.
Here’s a little bit of what John wrote…
[Read John's complete commentary here]
“For some, federal protection of iconic places brings to mind images of Teddy Roosevelt and others signing documents with vast scenic vistas behind them, offering speeches about the legacy these protections will endure for generations.
“But for me, the sites protected under the Antiquities Act are more than just a conservation legacy — they tell the story of my family. …
“None of these memories could have happened without the Antiquities Act. I know this is true for so many Americans.
“These cherished places are sacred. They will forever be a part of my story. It is because of my memories and your memories that I’m driven to protect our federally protected public lands.”
If you’re like us, the thought of losing these incredible pieces of our history — places that are rich with natural environments which have become more and more sparse in our developed world — is truly heartbreaking.
But, as is true of many of the problems we are currently dealing with in our state and our country, the threat to our lands also presents a unique opportunity to bring us together.The threat to our lands presents a unique opportunity to bring us together by sharing our stories. #YourStoryMatters Click To Tweet
In another opinion piece published over the weekend, New York Times columnist David Brooks had this to say:
“What can we draw upon to tell a better American story… one that will unite us instead of divide us, and yield hopeful answers instead of selfish ones?
“One resource is the land. Throughout our history, the American identity has been shaped by nature, by how our wilderness molds, inspires and binds us. …
“Most people say that most of America’s problems are pre-political. What’s needed is a revival of values, fraternity and a binding American story.
“I don’t know all the ways that revival of spirit can come about, but even in the age of the driverless car and Reddit, I suspect some of the answers are to be found in reconnecting with our ancient ideals and reconnecting with the land.”
We couldn’t agree more.
So, we’re challenging you to join us in talking about what our lands mean to you…Join @CVofSC in talking about what our lands mean to you. #YourStoryMatters Click To Tweet
Your story matters to us. After you click submit, we’ll reach out to see how we can work with you to share it locally, or even nationally.
This simple action is a great way to make your voice heard. And it’s a rare chance to bridge divides in a way that many other things cannot.
Together, we will make a difference for our public lands.