|The rarest and most valuable park land in a modern urban setting are those few acres which are allowed to return to the state of wildness which our pioneer ancestors encountered when first arriving in Texas. |
Sam Houston was one of a rare breed of Texans, who, having lived with the Cherokees, understood and appreciated the value of wilderness. When he purchased 184 acres in Huntsville to build his home he did not cut the ancient trees on his land. Even today there are ancient pines, oaks, and sweetgums on his homestead right in the heart of Huntsville.
I have lived on his homestead lands for over 50 years now and am still amazed at the wonders of nature that urban wilderness attracts. Each morning I am awakened by the family of tree ducks which reside in the ancient gum tree outside our bedroom. Pileated woodpeckers call to one another from the ancient pine snags. Just last month I heard the neighborhood crows scolding. When I looked up, I saw them harassing a bald eagle in our yard.
How tragic that ignorance seems to prevail in the city named after the wilderness loving hero of San JacintoSam Houston. I simply cannot believe that any judge or jury would not immediately see that without wilderness parks, city dwellers lose a part of their souls to the infinite spread of concrete and chaos.
The integrity of our forests is essential to the survival of the planet as a whole. Civilizations of the past declined as they exploited their forests in an unsustainable way.
One might ask why I am so forest-centric? The answer of course goes far beyond the trees in the forests--it speaks of water quality, fertility of soils, maintainence of global temperatures, the spiritual values of wilderness, genetic diversity, recreation for health, and the production of food and fiber in perpetuity.
When we speak only to the issue of wilderness preservation we are not speaking to the fundamental cause of the destruction of forest ecosystems worldwide. Even if we focused on only the theme of wilderness preservation on federal lands in America, Planet Eden is lost and lost forever.
That is why it is essential that we go beyond saving a few acres of fragmented old-growth and visit the cause of the cancer which is destroying our planet. It would be as if we focused all of our efforts on finding some sort of band-aid approach to extending the life of cigarette smoking
victims an extra three days when confronted with lung-cancer and never even considering the damage caused by using tax dollars to subsidize the tobacco industry.
That is why I have dedicated all of my resources after spending nearly half a century fighting individual battles, to attempting to instill spiritual ethics to all Creation.
Otherwise we may spend all of our energy focusing on individual battles while the enemy is winning the war against the future of humankind and all of God's Creation.