The Book. The Mountain. Everything in between.

Worth fighting for

My uncle, Eric Miller, has been in the Mansfield News Journal a lot lately. And for that, I’m glad.

For years, he has spearheaded an effort to preserve and protect some truly beautiful land in north-central  Ohio,  close to where I grew up. When you think about lands worth preserving, you might not instinctively summon Ohio, but I tell you, it is there. I saw some of it growing up, at places like Mohican State Park. I saw even more of it a few years ago when my uncle took a troupe of us on an impromptu hike through some of the acres he’d recently acquired for preservation.

The story in the News Journal on Friday was centered more around legislation passed in Ohio last year that opens up state parks — yes, state parks — to commercial logging and hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking. My uncle is part of a newly-launched effort, called the Coalition to Protect Ohio’s Parks, that aims to change the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ policy allowing commercial logging in state parks. (Find out more through Mohican Advocates on Facebook.)

It is an inspiring cause, one that I support wholeheartedly. It’s also one that takes shape all over the place, as people stand up to protect natural places all around the country and the world.

Up on Mount Hood, groups like Bark, Oregon Wild, the Crag Law Center, the Friends of Mount Hood, and others have long played watchdog and helped protect what really is a natural treasure.

But no matter where it is, whether it’s high up on the northern flanks of Mount Hood or in the middle of a rolling hardwood forest in central Ohio, it’s good to know there are places worth fighting for — and people out there fighting for them.

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