California: The Value of Natural Beauty

Andy Paul

There is something to be said about a state that has more than 50 million people yet still has wilderness. The coastal urban zones of San Diego and Orange counties, Los Angeles and the Bay Area dominate the landscape with skyscrapers, industry and production. But there are the places in between. The Sierra Nevada, a white granitic snow-clad vein blocks outward expansion, to a certain degree. The importance of preserving this powerful natural fence was recognized at the turn of the 20th century by the legendary environmental activist, John Muir. He would be the first of his kind and began fighting the fight to preserve California’s natural beauty.

Natural beauty. It seems almost silly to talk about the value of non-monetary resources in the 21st century. But these places are precious. One only needs to wander in California’s high country, breathing in clean, pure air with the rich smells of…

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