Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Yellowstone National Park vacation—a conservation monument

From Wichita Peace and Freedom Party Examiner:

just got back from my vacation trip to Yellowstone National Park. The park system was invented by past President Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt.
Teddy did some fine things, such as supporting unions against assaults by their corporate employers. He was interested in land and wildlife conservation. That is why he developed the park system with the idea that wild animals in the US could be protected from extinction.
It is ironic that such an avid hunter would build a park where large animals were protected from hunting. But he understood that such animals would disappear without some kind of protection. Without conservation large animals would simply disappear. That would have brought an end to hunting many of the animals he admired.
While in the park, I saw many animals that the area is known for. There were lots of bison. They are probably the most prolific animal in the park. I saw elk, some bears and a mule deer. I also saw some trout swimming in a small stream. I count fish as wildlife animals.
Roosevelt's image and his name are everywhere in the park. I spent several days in a small cabin, my wife and I rented, in a place called Roosevelt Lodge Cabins.

On the negative side Roosevelt was a hard core imperialist and war monger. While president he chose to colonize the Philippines and crush an independence movement led by Emilio Aguinaldo. He supported the Spanish-American War in Cuba. It was during that war that he put together an imperialist private army of mercenaries that he called the Rough Riders.
A lot of places in the park are named after the Rough Riders as if they were heroes. My cabin was in an area called the Rough Riders. But this glorification of the Rough Riders is deceptive. The Rough Riders were an illegal regiment considering they had no legal authorization to exist. Their purpose was to violate the rights of the Cuban people and prevent them from developing their own independence movement. The original goal was US colonization of that island.
We can all be thankful that such a park has become a model for future projects. We have to protect those parks from right-wing politicians and the
 "welfare cowboys," such as Cliven Bundy, who wants to destroy all public land. Some lands and some animals and plants SHOULD belong to the people in this country and such resources should be shared.

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