Civilian Conservation Corps 2.0

By: Saturday July 7, 2012 9:00 am

Over the Fourth of July holiday week, millions of people visited one of the hundreds of state and national parks that dot our land. A number of parks have a certain statue honoring the millions of Civilian Conservation Corps workers who made these parks the gems that they are. The CCC gave its workers employment and dignity in a time of economic depression, and it gave the nation a legacy of trails, roads, campgrounds, buildings, and more, so that future generations might be able to enjoy the richness of this land.

We invested in people and parks two generations ago, and we’ve been reaping the benefits ever since. In this current economic depression — worse than any other downturn since the Great Depression — when our parks are in serious need of maintenance and improvements, maybe it’s time to invest in the future once again and bring the CCC back once more.


Late Night: The Most Anti-Environment House in the History of Congress

By: Wednesday June 20, 2012 8:00 pm

Voting 247 times in the last 18 months to undermine regulations that protect the environment, the “House of Representatives has become the most anti-environment House in the history of Congress,” according to a June 18, 2012 report (PDF) prepared for Congress members Henry Waxman and Edward Markey.

A Little Speechwriting Help for the State of the Union

By: Saturday January 22, 2011 9:00 am

Next week is the State of the Union address, and I thought I’d offer a little last minute, unsolicited advice to the president and the White House speechwriters. Some may think it presumptuous, but as one of “we, the people,” I think it’s allowable. It’s not like they have to take the advice, after all . . . but it sure would be nice to see and hear something like this.

Public Office Means Responsibility

By: Sunday November 7, 2010 8:12 am

The country that has so benefited in civilizing effects and prosperity from the education given veterans by Ralph Yarborough’s Cold War G.I. Bill of Rights just voted against those who want to bring it back from the gutter it’s been pitched into. That’s hard to understand. I’ll just be proud of what we could do, and wait for an electorate to redevelop for the treasures we have in our hands.

Holiday Signs of the Times in State and National Parks

By: Saturday September 4, 2010 9:00 am

The stimulus package passed earlier this year provided $750 million for the National Park Service to address infrastructure and deferred maintenance. That’s a pittance, compared with the need — and the state parks are in even worse shape because of state budgets.

Closing parks, even sporadically, hits the local economies of the neighboring areas hard. On the other hand, spending money to revitalize the parks brings back jobs in large numbers. Hopefully some of the dusty heads in DC will get a clue.

Meanwhile, enjoy the parks this weekend. If you can.

Hike On! Stewart Udall’s Legacy from Sea to Shining Sea

By: Wednesday March 24, 2010 6:00 am

Stewart Udall, Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Johnson and Kennedy, passed away at the age of 90 on Saturday. Rather than repeat obituaries’ biographic details, this diary pays photographic tribute to his life’s passion, our wild public lands.

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