Carole King, American Singer-Songwriter
I’ve lived in Idaho for more than 30 years. My children are grown, and I have five grandchildren. Wilderness and wildlife have informed my life and my songs for more than half a century. I live among bears, badgers, bunnies, beavers, otters, deer, elk, moose and wild horses. In winter I snowshoe and ski on trails with paw prints the size of a grapefruit. In the fall of 2007 I woke up to see a family of grey wolves 50 feet from my window: a male, a female and two pups. It was unnerving, magnificent, and a vivid reminder that it was I who moved into their neighborhood and not the other way around.
There are psychological benefits to human beings of vast, wild places. They replenish the human spirit and give us sanctuary from an increasingly stressful world. Wilderness stops time. We need more, not fewer, places where we can stop time.
With rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere playing a crucial role in climate change, NREPA is a science-based solution that even a third-grader can understand. Trees convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Large connected ecosystems full of old-growth forests like those in the northern Rockies absorb and store carbon. Scientists call this a “carbon sink.” By protecting the northern Rockies ecosystem, NREPA will mitigate the effects of global warming on species and benefit the entire world.
Michelangelo said, “The greatest danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” Imagine if Michelangelo had set his aim lower than the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. The land, water, and wildlife that NREPA will protect is America’s Sistine Chapel. It’s a miracle that we still have the ability to protect the northern Rockies as close to the way God created anything as you can find. We must honor that miracle.