A Privilege and a Responsibility

Elk In Velvet

Elk in Velvet

Last week, I had the opportunity to spend four days in Yellowstone National Park. I went with a friend of mine to do some hiking, some fishing and some wildlife photography. I hadn’t been to Yellowstone since my teens. However, my friend loves Yellowstone passionately and probably goes there 1-2 times per year. During the course of our adventures there, he showed me parts of Yellowstone I could only imagine. We saw bison, elk, eagles, a badger, a beaver, a pack of wolves and a grizzly bear. The highlight of the trip was the last day when we took horses into the backcountry, up Slough Creek and got as far as the start of the third meadow.

Beaver on Soda Creek

Beaver on Soda Creek

Being in Slough Creek was the first time I’ve felt I been in true wilderness for a few decades. At some point on that trip, my friend said to me something to the effect of, “don’t you feel just privileged to be here?” He’s absolutely right, I do. I know not all of us get to go to places like Yellowstone and the vast majority that do, actually over 98% that do make it to Yellowstone, never leave the road and Visitor Centers. It is indeed a privilege and one I’m very thankful for.

I’m also thankful that it even exists, that our forefathers had the foresight to even to set aside this land. Osprey Landing on its nestWithout their vision, the place that Yellowstone is, the plants and animals that live within, even the entire species of the American Bison would not exist.

This is where I’ll amend my friend’s statement. It is indeed a privilege, but it’s also a responsibility for us to protect and protect the other Yellowstone’s that are there. Yellowstone is a place, but it’s also an ideal. It embodies the vision that nature is worth protecting, every species has a right to exist, and is necessary for the health of our planet and our own health.

1 comment to A Privilege and a Responsibility

  • Don Gesualdo

    The ”corn crake’ you reported on ebird on July 20, 2015, location: Lungarno (Arno River) Tuscany is actually a Fulica Atra (Eurasian Coot), please fix your report, thanks
    PS eurasian coots are very common and they are found almost everywhere in european cities, a corn crake is not

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