Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Expanding Cascade-Siskiyou Monument a holy cause
Right now, one part of God's creation is particularly in need of our attention and stewardship: The area surrounding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southwest Oregon. This national monument is special to Oregon and to our nation. Established in 2000, the monument is one of the most biodiverse places in the country. Although it remains the only monument in the country designed specifically for the protection of biodiversity, its original boundaries were significantly constrained. Over the last several years, a growing number of scientists who study the diversity of God's creatures and plants in this special place are telling us we need to do more to protect it. God's creation in this area counts on a patchwork of vital habitats and watersheds that remain unprotected. God's creatures serve a purpose in the whole of creation, and each has intrinsic value. The Psalmist declares to God, "In your wisdom, you made them all. The earth is full of your creatures." Redirecting water resources away from habitats, water pollution, or habitat loss in certain places could mean loss of certain species forever. When we allow species extinction to happen, we do not know the full extent of harm that we have done. It is a transgression against our Creator. Furthermore, it is clear that the global community is feeling the impacts of climate change. Just as we humans are adjusting to increasingly changing seasons, extreme weather, droughts, and floods, so too are God's creatures and plants...more
Rt. Rev. Staccatto Powell is Bishop of the Western Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. Rev. Dr. Walter John Boris is Conference Minister for the Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ.