December 10, 2013

National Parks Threatened

“America’s national parks are one of the most popular destinations for families, and have been so for almost 100 years.

National Parks Threatened

Unfortunately, a new study by the National Parks Conservation Association for Park Research reveals that our national parks are facing a number of threats that are affecting the water, air and wildlife. Over half the parks have been found to have poor air quality, and water pollution is rife. Nearly every park has suffered the loss of at least one plant or wildlife species, including bears, mountain lions, and gray wolves. Many examples have been uncovered of impact to the parks due to activities on adjacent land, and climate change could lead to the loss of glaciers in Glacier National Park, and the disappearance of Joshua trees in Joshua Tree National Park. Invasive plants have taken over in certain areas, choking out native plants.

With limited funding, the Parks Service is unable to protect the cultural and historical artifacts, due to lack of storage and monitoring, and a reduction in staff. This has led to poaching and vandalism.

“”Our national parks have been around for almost 100 years, and they are more popular that ever with families flocking to visit them every summer. But many people don’t know about the threats that increasingly impact the wildlife, water and air within our parks. The historic sites that tell the story of the Civil War, the civil rights movement and the other chapters of America’s history are also suffering. This is a turning point in the history of our parks, and we must not allow our generation to break the promise of our parks to future generations”" says Tom Kiernan, NPCA president.

The NCPA has certain recommendations for the Obama administration, including immediate action to protect our national parks. 2016 marks the Centennial of the Parks Service, and a long-term plan focussing on land conservation will prepare the parks for this occasion.

In 1916 when the National Park system was created, the vision was to “”leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations”". It is recommended that the President issue an Executive Order that once again commits to this vision.

This Executive Order would require federal agencies to protect wildlife habitat, address the issue of the effect of climate change on wildlife, and open new parks focussing on themes such as cultural diversity.

The NCPA’s “”State of America’s National Parks”" report is a reminder that our parks are a vital part of the country’s history, and they deserve the attention and protection that will ensure their survival for the sake of future generations.”

America’s national park keep falling apart

NPCA Report: America’s National Parks Have Troubling Problems With Natural, Cultural, Historic Resources

‘The State of America’s National Parks’ NCPA report

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