anuradhanaik anuradhanaik, September 5, 2018

#5 – April/May, 2018

The first week of April was spring break for my school, and my family and I went out west to experience some of the beautiful places there, quite different from New York. We hiked through Zion National Park, Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, and Grand Canyon National Park. It was incredible to realize that places so beautiful existed in my country, just a few hours away. What makes America so great and diverse, among many other things, is its climates and environments.

Escalante is one of the national monuments that I visited, and it is home to some of the most unique and beautiful landscapes I have ever witnessed, as well as examples of the ancient, rich culture of Native Americans. But several months ago, Trump announced his plan to shrink a few national monuments, an outrage to Native American groups and environmentalists. Escalante was one of them. This land, that was home to some of the most beautiful rocks, plants, and art could possibly be used for oil and drilling, and the natural beauty and cultural importance of these areas will be disrespected and destroyed. When I first heard of Trump’s plan, I was devastated and angry, and that was before I witnessed the stunning environment of the Southwest. Now, it is even more absurd to me.

But the people in the Trump administration aren’t the only ones putting our parks and monuments in danger. Climate change threatens the plants and animals there as well. There is so little water there as it is that every drop means something, and climate change will make the heat and drought worse, draining reservoirs like Lake Powell and Mead, who supply water to thousands of people. It will kill the plants that supply home, shade, and also stop the soil from eroding.

I encourage everyone, environmentalist or otherwise, to go visit a national park. They remind me of the beauty and history of our huge, complex country, and put new life, love, and perspective in my journey for a safer, cleaner Earth.

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