Meet Deanna Wulff, the founder and director of Unite the Parks. Wulff was in Three Rivers this week to tell the story of the movement to create the Range of Light National Monument.Imagine one contiguous swath of protected public lands with Yosemite National Park (761,266 acres) on the north to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks (865,965 acres) on the south. Add another 1.4 million acres in between that are currently administered by the U.S. Forest Service as Sierra National Forest and you have the largest interconnected wilderness in the Lower 48, not to mention a treasure trove of resources that includes nearly 100 endangered or threatened species.
That’s the dream of Deanna Wulff of Fresno, who created Unite the Parks six years ago, a nonprofit group working to protect the federal land between Yosemite and Kings Canyon from commercial resource extraction. Once protected, the Range of Light National Monument will be a key piece of an integrated migratory area for wildlife, flowing from park to park and a recreational refuge for wilderness users.
Wulff admits that creating a new national monument in a political climate with an administration that is advocating reducing and opening up national monuments to more extraction may be a tough sell. But that makes her cause even more urgent.
On Thursday, August 5, Wulff, en route to a speaking engagement in Bakersfield, stopped off in Three Rivers to tell her story. She said her day job as a management team leader — producing technical documents for the corporate world — has prepared her to create a Range of Light National Monument.
That’s her raison d’etre: to convince people to follow her lead in preserving this Sierra Nevada landscape. To understand how the Range of Light National Monument could stop abuse of public land, Wulff’s Unite the Parks has produced a series of short clips on YouTube:
Next week: Deanna Wulff in her own words.