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.
Now is the time for those who manage our federal public lands to prioritize protecting the recreational, cultural and natural treasures of those lands, rather than promoting dirty fuels development and contributing to our climate crisis.
Tar-sands mining is a terrible idea anywhere for all kinds of reasons, but the idea of doing it right next door to some of our greatest national parks, in one of the most spectacular wilderness landscapes of North America, is like slashing the Mona Lisa with a box cutter.