Learning to Love Human Traces in Wild Places

9 Responses

  1. I grew up in Ohio in what is now the Cuyahoga Valley National Park (and I did my undergrad at Hiram College, not far from Nelson’s Ledges). I enjoyed your piece and I look forward to reading the Goins book you recommended — but I disagree with your statement that people “cannot help” throwing stones in the mud at Yellowstone. Yes, they can–they just don’t. I still experience a huge wave of irritation and frustration at the way people “leave their mark” on these places–there are spots at Brandywine Falls where kids carved initials in the stone back in the 1970s…which I suppose you can only see if you climb what passes for a fence (like I did in the late 80s, when it was still privately owned). The Ken Burns documentary on the National Parks has some spots that deal with the ways that the Park Service was developed to help curb people’s enthusiasm for wrecking the places they visited in Yellowstone. If you’re ever back in Ohio to visit, I recommend the Ledges Overlook and Brandywine Falls. I spent a lot of time there as a teenager and college student before I moved away. https://www.nps.gov/cuva/planyourvisit/recommended-hikes.htm

  2. John says:

    Interesting observation of the world we live in. Accepting the greater frame and still finding the beauty is a powerful concept to embrace versus cropping out what we don’t want to see.

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