"The most common form of terrorism in the U.S.A. is that carried on by bulldozers and chain saws."
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
To some, Edward Abbey is the Thoreau of the West. I just completed Abbey's "Desert Solitaire," in which the author spends a summer as a ranger at Arches National Monument in the 1960s. Abbey is a true iconoclast--he's also something of an eco-terrorist if you read "Monkey Wrench Gang." "Desert Solitaire" is full of funny asides and incredible descriptions of the desert. One of Abbey's philosophies that I take away is his view of National Park use. He thinks all parks should be protected from vehicle traffic and lightly managed. Instead, he believes, a vast conspiracy has encouraged the use of gas-guzzling cars all across our parks. Abbey's preference would be to keep the parks vehicle-free and force all motorists to park and then shuttle-bus or bike into the parks. There are a number of great Abbey quotes, but I pulled this one off of Wikipedia, and I think it captures the sentiments of his books: