Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Ok, a day late, but not dollars short, or at least only a few dollars short to make it better. On March 2nd 1899 President McKinley signed the bill designating Mount Rainer Forest Reserve a National Park, read the text of the law. That's 112 years ago. And through all the natural calamities and human events, it's not only survived, but prospered.
But that happened not because man interferred, as we're so common to do, but because we didn't interfer and let it be what it is, a great example of nature at its finest. All the problems, more often than not, were the result of our actions to manage and develop the NP into a visitor experience. That's not nature's fault, it's ours.
Mt. Rainier NP has gone through a lot of changes, natural and commerical, from nothing and no money for the first few years of life as a NP, to what we see today, with its state of the art visitors center, extensive trail system, extensive roads to every corner of the NP, and several first class accomations. It's a tribute to our values for nature and our belief to lessen the human impact for every visitor to see the most of the beauty of the mountain and the NP.
And is was done by thousands of employees, workers (CCC during the depression) and volunteers over its history and more so today with the current NPS staff and volunteers, the many citizen volunteers and the many support folks, like the Washington National Guard. We owe them our thanks as much, if not more, for their dedication, time and importance to the NP.
So, when you are there this year, cherish the beuty of Mt. Rainier and the NP, but also thank the work off all the people working there now as well as all those who preceded them. It's our National Park, and they have lovingly cared for it for us.