Gratitude: Our national wildlife refuges

Day 28 of #LiveWell2017


I spent the morning biking along the Columbia River Dike Trail, part of which runs through the Steigerwald National Wildlife Refuge near Washougal, WA. Other people were enjoying the trail, too. Hikers, birders, dog-walkers.

Along the way, I saw red-tailed hawks, northern harriers, kestrels, bald eagles, and hundreds of ducks and geese. It was a bold reminder of the importance of public lands and waters for the conservation of plants, animals, and habitats for current and future generations.

Aldo Leopold once said, “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” Our national wildlife refuge system’s mission is to restore and preserve the integrity and stability of living communities. Our lives and our children’s lives are richer for it.

Public lands create goodness in our lives because they protect the living systems that support us. They provide places where we can be active outdoors, helping us to stay healthy and connected to the places where we live.

Today, I am grateful for the national wildlife refuges throughout the United States.

Have you visited a national wildlife refuge? Which one?


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