Last weekend a close friend and I sat on the banks of a pristine glacial lake along the John Muir Trail, 12,000 feet above the madness of human development. In reverent silence we reflected on the magnificence of the park and our debt of gratitude to those who fought to protect it.
Can you imagine California without its parks?
In a world where natural beauty too easily falls prey to greed, where would California be without John Muir, Edward Abbey, and all those who have fought to keep the wilderness wild?
Today we find ourselves entrenched again in the age-old battle to protect that which cannot protect itself. Our coastal wilderness has endured a century of unbridled assault and protective neglect. Its remoteness has left its destruction out of sight and out mind while our local kelp forests bear more and more resemblance to the clear-cut wastelands of the Pacific Northwest.
No more! Does a vibrant kelp forest inspire less awe than a pine forest? Is an underwater canyon less majestic than a granite peak? Does a thresher shark deserve less respect than a black bear? It’s time to extend park status to our states underwater treasures. We can be the John Muirs of our generation. We can make our children proud of us. We can keep California wild.
The California Fish and Game Commission is holding a public comment hearing on Wednesday, October 20 to discuss whether and where to create underwater state parks along the southern California coast. Get there and speak up. Make South La Jolla the next Yosemite. Make Swamis the next Kings Canyon.
See you there!