Access to public land is the birthright of every American. Our parks, monuments, forests, and wildlife refuges offer places for respite, for recreation, and for the remembrance of the challenges and opportunities we’ve faced as a nation. As a common good, they’re also an exercise in humility, requiring us to make responsible decisions about how we’ll manage these precious natural resources for future generations.
But the current pandemic has put increased pressure on those resources and all the communities that rely on them for clean water and tourism dollars. While getting into the outdoors can be a true escape, a wonderful antidote for cabin fever, and a chance to reconnect with nature, it can also put a terrible strain on gateway communities and the resource we’re trying to protect. In fact, wear and tear has long been a problem for our public lands, most acutely in our national parks, where