March 17, 2010

As Earth Day nears, recall need to protect our assets

The 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day is April 22, so this is a good time to take a cue from John Henderson\'s Maine Voices column (\"Make Earth Day routine and have an alternative commuting day weekly,\" Jan. 21) and treat every day as Earth Day.

I worked with Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson at The Wilderness Society after he left the U.S. Senate and know how committed he was to leaving our grandchildren a healthy planet.

Saving these special places pays dividends for hikers, kayakers, hunters, and others who love the great outdoors. A lesser-known benefit is the storage of carbon that is causing global warming.

Maine\'s forests play a vital role in soaking up this carbon, and our natural areas also help wildlife adapt to climate change by giving species a chance to move to areas that provide the conditions they need to survive.

As Theodore Roosevelt put it a century ago, \"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value.\"

Jeremy Sheaffer

The Wilderness Society



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