Ox Bow Trail, Withlacoochee River
Citrus Springs, Florida
We should fear the fate of Florida's forest paths and their loss to future generations if they are sold to the highest bidders and given over to special interests. These narrow ways through wild lands are foundational to this state's economic future. They lead to more than just the songs of bullfrogs and gator bellows and the staccato echoing screech of the limpkin in a river swamp. They lead us to our forefathers and theirs and the primordial connection between the human animals we are and where we and our ancestors came from. Forest paths take us back. That's why people love Florida and spend $76 billion a year here. They do not come for our malls, crowded asphalt toll ways, polluted waterways, phosphate mines, contaminant-belching power plants or center-pivot irrigation systems. They come for our forest paths to find themselves and discover a sense of their origins.