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Let’s Talk About Protecting Public Land (audio example from Rachel)

Author: Rachel Roberson

Roberson, Rachel. “Election 2020 Project Audio Example.” SoundCloud, KQED Teach, 2019,

Audio link:


Title: Let’s Talk about Preserving Public Land

In the faded photo, I’m not even two years old. Clad in a 70s brown and tan sweater, I stand shivering in the Merced River on my first trip to Yosemite National Park. As I grew up, the national parks continued to be part of my family’s life through good times and bad. After my parents’ divorce in 1986, the first trip we took was to the peaceful green of Sequoia National Park. Fifteen years later, my youngest sister got engaged by the sparkling shore of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. My mom and I returned to the grandeur of Yosemite in 2009 to celebrate her recovery from cancer surgery. When cancer caught up with her five years later, we honored her memory under the healing redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument, her favorite place.

The national park system is at the heart of so many of my family’s stories, and we are not alone. There are 419 national parks, monuments, seashores, battlefields, parkways and preserves in every state. These national treasures were visited over 318 million times in 2018. That’s a lot of people making memories in the painted deserts of the Grand Canyon or the misty mountains of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This is why protecting public parklands with a moratorium on fossil fuel drilling is the issue I care about most this election. It’s important to protect our priceless landscapes for future visitors. It is also important for the future of our planet.

Reducing carbon emissions is key to combating climate change. Currently about 25% of all carbon emissions in the U.S. come from fossil fuels extracted from public lands. Now, this land doesn’t include national parks, but land open to drilling is often near protected areas, both on and offshore. Without a moratorium, the federal government can review--and rescind--national park designations, as they did in 2017 by reducing by almost 50% the protected area around Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.

Shrinking national parkland or allowing drilling on adjacent public lands not only keeps future families from enjoying our unspoiled parks--it puts future families at greater risk of the damaging effects of climate change. Keep our nation safer by saying no to drilling on public land.

Word count: 372

DMU Timestamp: November 27, 2019 01:26

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