Protecting Our Parklands a Century Ago

In 1921, the editors paid tribute to John Barton Payne, the recently replaced Secretary of the Interior and a diligent champion of America’s national parks, who opposed every attempt to use them for commercial purposes.

The Madison River in Yellowstone National Park

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—“A National Parks Platform,” Editorial, April 16, 1921

Some people think that they can mar the beauty of the landscape and still take millions from tourists, slaughter all the game and still attract lovers of wildlife, though they protest and doubtless believe that their plans would not hurt the parks. It should be clearly understood that there is not a foot of “free” land in any national park; that it all has an owner; and that, measured in terms of dollars, it has an exceedingly high value to that owner. What it means to him in terms of health, happiness, and beauty cannot be measured in terms of money.

 

The page where the editorial "A National Parks Program" appeared in the Post.
Read the editorial “A National Parks Platform” from the April 16, 1921, issue of the Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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