A Ranger’s View
May 23, 2017
Many political opponents to protecting wildlife and open space believe that the regulations and taxes that protect the environment are wasted and stunt the economy. Contrariwise, in many cases turning the land into protected parks actually boosts the economy in rural areas. Ranger Cecilia Rejas has been a ranger for 15 years and has seen firsthand where the taxes and regulations go to work.
Rejas has devoted much of her life to being a ranger. She explains that “it started with a love for the outdoors, hiking, and talking to people.” According to Rejas being a ranger is not all fun and outdoor exploration: “my least favorite part is the administrative paperwork we have to do. Regardless of the joy of working outdoors, there is always some desk time.” Despite the small setback of having non-outdoor work to do, Rejas believes that being a ranger is the perfect “balancing act between protecting the resources of the state of California, and allowing people to have space for recreation.
Rejas describes the wonderful effects that nature can have on a busy modern American: “[In nature] people can go and escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You get out here and you can see the magnificent views and breathe the fresh air. I think it rejuvenates mind body and soul.”
Nature’s seemingly magical ability to improve moods, reduce distraction, and calm stressed humans are what make it so important to keep ours safe. According to one study, patients with trees and grass in their room recovered faster and needed less medication that those without.
“I think it’s very important that we have a healthy society with parks, open spaces, and green space for people to get away from work. Now more than ever we are surrounded by technology and it is a lot harder to get by and survive in this world. Having open spaces and parks is very critical and important.”
Rejas’ insight seemed to concur directly with what I witnessed by interviewing strangers. Nature is a crucial part of the Bay Area so as citizens of the Bay Area we must first protect this land from further development, and then appreciate this land by respectfully using it to escape from urban life.