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Wilderness, Peace and Being American

Posted by Aaron Wolf on 28th Apr 2016

The national parks have been touted as America’s best idea and obviously I agree. National parks and public lands as a whole bring more value than sanctuary for wildlife, they offer sanctuary for us, the curious, hopeful, tired, or any other adjective that you’re currently feeling. When the Wilderness Act of 1965 was passed, the conservationists and authors knew well what America would get from this monumental movement.


And now, today, September 21, 2016, we celebrate World Peace Day. We recognize the tough times at home and abroad and work towards peaceful resolution, or at least hope for the best. I’m lucky to live in America, safe and protected. If you are reading this, you too are likely in America, safe and protected.

While walking to my favorite coffee shop, reflecting on what this day means, the first word to pop in my mind when thinking of peace was Wilderness. Then my thoughts ran as reflecting on my time in Wilderness and times to come in Wilderness resembled peace and harmony and how in so many ways the Wilderness is my answer to life’s problems. If you’ve met me, I’ll tell you Wilderness is the answer to your problems too.

America is far from perfect, like real far but regardless of our abundant flaws, America has blazed the trail for land conservation in a lot of ways. Having our public lands available, especially designated Wilderness areas, is quintessentially American.

Wilderness is wild and free; peaceful and chaotic. The wild is expression and opportunity, it maintains balance in response to itself, no matter what extreme Wilderness is responding to. Extremes and consistency reign at any time yet it maintains identity as Wilderness. Think about this a minute.

When we enter Wilderness we enter freedom and expression. If you take the time to explore the Wilderness and accept its being, if you stop to breathe and open yourself to its peace and expression, you too may find peace and expression. Peace and expression, no matter what, remain American ideals and if anyone has trouble accepting this, I encourage you to find the origination of these ideals. They can be found in your nearest Wilderness.