A letter to Affirm the Value of Wilderness

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By Ryan Nealis

To whom it may concern

I am writing to you to inform you about the incredible experience that I had while I was on trail in the Imfolozi park while conjunction with the Wilderness Leadership School. We spent 5 days and 4 nights learning about Zulu culture and the importance that these ecosystems have on our earth as a whole.

I know recently the South African government has been allowing the large mining companies to utilise land surrounding the park for sites and resources. Although this may help short term economic and energy issues, the detrimental impact these mining sites have on the park and its inhabitants is much more significant. As humans the greatest task that we face is how we interact with each other and the world around us. If society continues to neglect the ecosystems that help preserve and maintain our planet, we will reach a point where we won’t even have the opportunity to respect each other.

I am not asking you as a person who wishes to return to this park in the future. I am asking you as a fellow human being. A person who is not focused on my own life but, the lives of all those who have still to be born. Eventually those mines will run out of resources but the Imfolozi park will never run out of beauty or importance.

“Some are dead, Some are alive, but most are yet to be born” – Native American proverb


Ryan Nealis

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