One hundred years ago this summer, on August 25, 1916, our National Park Service was born. And our lives and country would have been very different without it. PBS even ran a series titled “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” Had our national parks not been fought for and established when they were, we probably wouldn’t have any. Today there would be too much opposition to setting aside large, scenic blocks of land for public use only. Private and corporate interests would want that land for themselves. Even now, existing parks are continually threatened by commercial interests far more interested in making a buck than in preserving the parklands for future generations.
So this summer and all year, every year, enjoy our parks, be grateful that the NPS is taking care of them for you and generations to come. And thank the next ranger you see.