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Preserving for the future

Recently I visited the Yosemite National Park in California, USA. It was a sight to see miles upon miles of groves of Sequoia trees. These giant trees just dwarf even the largest pine trees that grow along with them! Extensive information on this displayed in simple terms all along the park mentions that these trees grow over to 160 ft, can live for over 2000 years and the trunk can reach over 25 ft thickness.  

The high Sierra range of mountains provide a very vast diversity of nature. One can travel hundreds of miles along granite mountains and spacious meadows. Over centuries, glaciers have shaped this landscape. John Muir, the naturalist, credited with exploring these grand bequeath of nature mentions about the valley: “everything is flowing, going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water.”

What struck me as most significant was the American society’s concern for preserving this precious heritage. As early as in 1864 President Lincoln signed a bill to preserve the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley. Thus was born the concern for setting up and preserving dozens of national parks across the country.

Sadly, such a concern is not visible in India. How careless we have been in losing precious forest wealth by mindless encroachments! Of spoiling our precious long coastline by reckless construction so close to the shore! As late as in the 1970s the Tamil Nadu government constructed tenements on the Santhome seashore which had turned an eyesore; miles upon miles of reckless construction in Tiruvanmiyur and further down south so close to the seashore!


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