“I walk in the world to love it,” writes poet Mary Oliver. “I walk in the world to monetize it,” fantasizes President Donald Trump and Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke.
President Trump’s order to review 20 years worth of national monument designations is not out of character with his indifference to sacred space and natural communities. Protecting wild places is an expression of humility and respect that President Trump has shown little sign of embracing.
However, I was hoping that Secretary Zinke would do the right thing and live up to his promise to protect public lands. Instead, Mr. Zinke appears to be following the lead of President Trump by calling into question the protection of some of the most wild and beautiful places left in America. Sadly, there is now little doubt that Ryan Zinke’s word is no more reliable than President Trump’s. Secretary Zinke and President Trump prove once again that John Muir got it right: “nothing dollarable is safe.”
But when I listen carefully, I can hear the human spirit rising in Mary Oliver’s words. And that sustains my hope. It has to.
Bob Muth Sr.