Anyway, I drove from Las Angelas to where I'm staying at tonight - just east of Yosemite - and have gazed at nature in its most prestine and glorious. In just my short drive, I've been through deserts, mountain-deserts, woodland forests, farm country... all sorts of different landscapes and all of them are impressive. Or, as they say back home, wicked impressive.
However, what's more impressive is the fact that California has locked up all this land - adding up all the square miles of California's massive state and national parks and forests would surely amount to way more space than Massachusetts combined. There are parks in California bigger than Rhode Island alone (or at least I remember hearing that - and the two hour drive through Saquoia National Park and Monument does little to disprove it, especially considering only a small fraction of the park is available to drive through).
Not only that, but California has damn tough emission regulations. Maybe that's why the air seems so clean (outside of LA)? It's not like Massachusetts could emulate what California has done with open space and national treasures (park systems, etc.), since we're such a small and densely populated state (seeing all the open space I've driven through, I really wonder just how so many people live in California, really!). However, we can try to emulate their emission regulations and try to create even tougher environmental standards. We can power 2/3rds of Cape Cod through the power of wind. There are things we can do that California can't - we each have our own assets. I hope to see Massachusetts be a trend setter.
And I'll have to tour our states parks and forests, because if they're half as nice as what I've seen in California, it's well worth the visit.