A very happy New Year to all of you. May the months ahead afford you many opportunities for appreciation, discovery and adventure in our beautiful natural world.
Whether or not you accept 2000 as the start of the millennium, there is no question that we are already crossing into a new era of conservation imperatives, awareness and action. This is not a doomsday message, but rather one of tempered optimism. This writer, for one, is reaping energy and motivation from an upwelling of grassroots activity on every level. Apathy has given way to a healthy outrage and people everywhere are saying, "No more!" No more sprawl, no more clearcutting, no more over-fishing, no more destruction of wetlands. The best part is that concerned people everywhere are stepping forth to volunteer, to run for local government positions, to work on boards and commissions, doing what they can to help launch the vision for preserving our environment, natural habitat, and quality of life. Let's hope the momentum continues to swell, up to 2001and beyond.
In an op-ed in the Oregonian, U.S. Forest Service Chief Mike Dombeck, in an overview of public participation in the ongoing effort to protect some 50 million acres of roadless areas in our national forests, articulated very nicely the underlying philosophy that moves us so:
"What distinguishes a truly wealthy nation from one that merely generates wealth is the foresight and wisdom to leave behind a richer legacy than we inherited, to make short-term sacrifices to advance long-term gains, to proceed humbly and cautiously in managing our natural resource endowment." He concludes his piece by saying, "In the 21st century, our greatest challenges are less technical or scientific than they are ethical and social. More and more, we recognize the inextricable link between the quality of our lives and the health of the lands and waters that surround us. As our lands are fragmented at alarming rates, do we have the collective wisdom and humility to pause in the face of pressure to develop the last roadless areas? It is time to answer this question."
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