The western writer Wallace Stegner called America's National Parks the nation's "best idea." But facilities in both the Parks and the National Forests are being allowed to decline. New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof grew up on a sheep and cherry farm in Oregon. This summer, he went home in a way, with his 15-year-old daughter to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs south from the Canadian border to Mexico. That led to a column on the current status of America's wilderness preserves.