The Importance of National Parks by Holden Regnier

I love being outside. I love the smell of pine trees. I love the sound of birds chirping and the wind blowing through the leaves in the trees. I love the sight of majestic mountains and red rock arches. And most importantly, I love the fact that back in 1916 some amazing people came up with the idea to create the National Park Service to preserve these amazing places that I, and many other people, take great comfort and refuge in.

When the National Park System was created in the 20th century, the founders (Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson) wanted to put this land aside and protect it from any industrial or private activity. It was put aside to allow people to enjoy these beautiful places without the distraction of pollution, skyscrapers, highways……you get the idea.

I have had the great privilege to visit many of our National Parks and Monuments. I first started going to these amazing places when I was little, riding in a backpack while my parents hiked Devils Garden and Delicate Arch in Arches National Park and Angels Landing in Zion National Park. As I grew older I became more, what is the word, aware of what these places meant and requested that we go to these places more. In the past year, I have been to Grand Teton National Park, all the National Monuments and Parks in the Washington DC area, and The Cabrillo National Monument in San Diego, California. And after every visit to these places, I realized how important it is for us to continue to preserve these lands. These parks/monuments helped me decide what I want to do in life, become a National Park Ranger, in Grand Teton National Park obviously.

Recently, there has been a call for drilling in the National Parks. This undermines the whole reason we call these places National Parks, to protect them from any industrial or private activity.

It is crucial that the National Parks remain “un-drilled”, and I hope that our new President makes the right call on this issue, and if he doesn’t make the right call, I hope us adolescents can fight back and make the first step towards improving our environment.


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