As we head into the final days of August, most Americans are looking for one last summer escape. Many people have to travel hundreds of miles to find a refuge from the crush of everyday life. But the 17 million people living in Greater Los Angeles can find wild beauty right in their backyards.
For more than a century, presidents have been using the Antiquities Act to save our national treasures, and President Obama's just-announced designation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument in southern New Mexico shows exactly why this law is so indispensable.
Citizens want to continue the proud American tradition of investing in the wildlife, open spaces, remote spots, clean air and fresh water that make this country stand out among other industrialized nations.
The environment and economy of the North Coast just scored a big victory. Last Tuesday, President Obama designated the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands as part of the California Coastal National Monument, protecting these pristine and breathtaking coastal lands.
Last week my wife and I drove up the legendary Highway One on the California coast. Our destination was somewhere about 100 miles north of San Francisco, planted on the windswept bluffs perched above the ocean.
Just as the government shutdowns in the 1990s did, this year's shutdown highlighted the extent to which Americans treasure our parks for the recreation they provide and the stories they tell about our society.