The Wisdom of America's Great Lands

Mount Rushmore
AP
We've been coming to the Aspen Ideas Festival for a long time, and in recent years we've had a lot of fun hooking on a side trip.

One year we drove to Mt Rushmore and sat on George Washington's head — that one made the Christmas card.

Last year we went to the Grand Canyon. Teddy Roosevelt said it was the greatest sight in America — hard to argue with that.

This year we started out in Yellowstone, another pretty good site to see . . . and by the way, Old Faithful is still faithful, blowing off steam every 90 minutes.

Every time we come out here, it reminds me of the wisdom and the foresight of those who set aside these lands so that future generations, as Lyndon Johnson once said, "can see the world as God made it and not just the way it was when we got through with it."

But it also made me wonder: If we faced the same choices today as those wise men who set aside these lands faced, what would be our decision?

I don't know the answer to that, but it is a question worth considering.

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    Bob Schieffer is a CBS News political contributor and former anchor of "Face The Nation," which he moderated for 24 years before retiring in 2015.