'Humans aren't that bad'

  • Jim Macey

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

Jim Macey is a resident of Keeler, California:

"The park and the Sierra Club have a really dim view of human nature. They equate more humans with more doom, more impact. They say, "Let's not let anybody do anything." There are a lot of people who think humans aren't that bad, who think they can learn to enjoy the resource without destroying it.

"I see that the national park has done more harm to the resource than not. It attracts a lot of people, and some parks tend to develop access points to the resource, like paved roads and viewpoints, that make it less primitive. (The Park Service) is trying to create a monoculture of people visiting the park who are very easy to manage. They're protecting physical qualities of the resource, but they're ignoring the nonphysical qualities. More and more, people see government as driving a wedge between them and the land."