Ruth Sandra Sperling
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Our public lands at all levels -- local, state, federal -- are managed through legal, government planning processes resulting in planning documents, sometimes called Management Plans -- and are very often very complex and complicated -- especially for the average public person who visits these public lands.
Fortunately, we have quite an extensive public lands system in the United States -- including in my home state of California.
In my blog here, I have written about my feelings about protecting ecosystems.
Us humans need to learn to live on this planet and protect it - and the only way to do this is with current scientific analysis to dertermine what the ecosystems on this planet can handle in terms of impact -- and how much protection and restoration they may need to be healthy lands/waters.
Many people have written about this - Aldo Leopold, John Muir, David Brower, Loren Eisley, Thoreau - as well as the spriritual and personal benefit us humans get just from experiencing wilderness areas and other areas of healthy lands.
Right now, within the last 30 days, I have read 2 different websites, downloaded documents, made comments on two nationally recognized public lands:
1. The Giant Sequoia National Monument
2. Yosemite National Park Tuolumne River Meadows Planning.
I commented on both within a comment period.
But the websites are still there - you can still get on mailing lists - and you can read the information for yourself if you would like to.
For the Giant Sequoia National Monument, I would like to give you 2 web addresses:
B. http://gsnm.ecr.gov/ - this is for actually reading documents, including the Presidential Proclamation and Science Advisory Board Advisories and making comments online!!
For Yosemite National Park and the planning process going on regarding Tuolumne River Meadows, go to:
http://www.nps.gov/yose -- then click on Management (lefthand menu), then click on Park Planning (lefthand menu), then find the 2008 Tuolumne Planning Workbook and comment form.
These are both planning processes going on for popular national public lands that have gone on for years and will be continuing with more comment periods.
Contribute to the public lands you are interested in -- they are public lands and you can make comments as a public person on how you think they should be run!!
Also, I would like to give credit and thanks to John Buckley and his staff at the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (CSERC) in Twain Harte, CA (just west of the northern part of Yosemite National Park) for their coverage in an excellent newsletter of what is going on with Yosemite National Park and the different planning and ecological issues. You can see what they are doing in that area of the Sierra Nevada at their website: http://www.cserc.org/. Their phone number is (209) 586-7440. I have known of this center for years and I think they are making a valuable contribution to environmental activities, education and ecological restoration in their area!!
Also, keep in mind that the whole Sierra Nevada is a Biodiversity Hotspot of global significance - and Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoia National Monument are ecosystems within it and are ecologically globally significant themselves. So whatever you do to help protect these parks/ecosystems, it should help the whole planet. (My references on this come from Conservation International, http://www.conservation.org/).