Lucas Jones’ essay was best at Troy for 2011

Taking a walk around Ross Creek Cedars can be more than just a relaxing experience. The tranquility of the woods shows us that in its most pristine state; nature is in perfect balance. Living in a world where massive oil spills and global warming are real threats, observing tranquil areas such as Ross Creek Cedars shows us that maybe the real beauty is not in a brand new 10,000 square foot house, new summer wardrobe, or glimmering new sports car. No. Real beauty is all around us. It is the rivers and streams that we have dumped our toxic waste in, it is the mountains which we have destroyed to get their precious minerals, and it is every natural wonder which we have exploited. Although it can be argued that we as a species have benefited from what we have taken from the earth, but how much longer can we keep taking~ If we continue leaching the earth of its resources as the pace we are going, it will not be long before the damage is irreversible.

I have been an avid fly fisherman since I was 14, traveling to the most beautiful and wild places I could find from Jasper, Alberta to 70 degrees north Alta, Norway. From all of the time I have spend fishing and spending my time out in the wild, I have learned how healing nature can be. Whenever I was having a bad time, I found that the best way to relax and get in a better mood was to spend time outside in nature. So many people never spend any time out in the wild and just spend their lives inside their room watching their HD Flat Screen TV and they wonder what it is they are missing in their lives. It is nature that they are missing. They watch their reality TV and have no appreciation of the real reality. We as a species are meant to spend time in the wild and people begin to lose sight of what is really real when they arc not in touch with nature. So, if those people want to recover the part of them that is missing, returning to nature is essential.

Possibly all of what we have accomplished is not exactly progress. In my opinion, we are just digging our hole deeper and deeper with each advancement in technology that leads us to rely on that new advancement. We cannot keep going at the pace we are going. Sooner or later there will be a crash in society. and only those that have learned to live with nature will survive and go on. As harsh as it sounds, it is true. So man~” people have become so reliant on their everyday technology that they have forgotten many once vital skills. People must once again go into the wild to learn to live on just what they can find. Soon they will learn how weak they are without all of their gadgets and gizmos.

In my personal opinion, the most important thing we can learn from the wilderness is population control, and that the largest problem of all facing the world is the vast population that continues to expand. In a natural environment everything lives in flux. One wonderful example is the link between lynx and rabbit populations. When rabbit populations are high, lynx populations rise until the rabbit populations become low in which the lynx population will decrease until the rabbit population increases to its natural level and the cycle starts over. We are on track for a similar fate as that of the lynx when the rabbit populations are low. We have reached a world population in which the resources that we put out cannot match the world population. Unless we learn to control ourselves, and slow the reproduction of humans, there will be enormous problems facing us in the future. We will reach the point where mass numbers of people starve and the world will be thrown into chaos. It is one of the most frightening futures that face us, and it is very realistic. We must heed the warnings that we have been given and learn that change can be for the better.

In conclusion, we must change our ways, and pay attention to what the wild parts of the world have to offer us and take time to understand what must be done. I can only hope that people begin to understand the great worth of the wilderness, and that we will gain more respect for nature and lessen the stress we have put on the world. We shouldn’t just do this for ourselves, we should do it so our children and our children’ s children will have a world to live in which is not a waste land. We must preserve the world we have now so that future generations can look upon the beauty that we have been so fortunate to enjoy.

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Categories: Blog
About The Author:

Sandy Compton has been program coordinator for Friends of Scotchman Peaks Wilderness since 2009. He is also a storyteller and author of both fiction and non-fiction books, and the publisher at

In addition to his other duties, he runs the FSPW All Star Trail Team (, which works on Forest Service trails in the Scotchman Peaks. He is a trail surveyor as well, and a C-Certified Crosscut Bucker/Feller and USFS National Saw Policy OHLEC instructor.

Sandy grew up on a small farm/woodlot at the south end of the proposed wilderness and lives there still. He is also board member of the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance and a planning team member for the Northern Rockies Wilderness Skills Institute.

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