December 13, 2017

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

An Overview Of The US National Parks System

There are numerous national parks throughout the country. Each has been given a special status by the federal government, and preserved as an area devoid of construction and development. Many of the parks are made up of pristine wilderness and environmentally sensitive land, it is believed that by allowing these areas to remain untouched by the modern world, the ecological heritage can be kept for future generations.

National Parks

In the US, the national parks also encompass areas of historic importance as well as certain monuments. The Department of the Interior oversees the running of all the country’s national parks, this involves the management of almost twenty per cent of our nation’s land.

The original national parks service was established back in 1916 by the then president Woodrow Wilson. An act was signed into law which established the parks, including specific rules and regulations to govern their management. Today, the parks are an integral component of our country’s heritage, and are enjoyed by people of all ages. There is hardly a citizen in the country who has never visited a national park, this should hardly come as a surprise when we realize there are more than three hundred and ninety designated areas.

The National Parks Service currently employs a huge number of people, more than 10,000, the ranks are bolstered during the busy summer months when the parks get the most visitors. The values embodied by the service help ensure minimal impact is caused to the parks.

The first ever national park in the US was the internationally renowned Yellowstone National Park, which was established in the year 1872. The Department of the Interior controlled Yellowstone directly, up until the National Park Service Act came into force in 1916. Yellowstone still embodies the original principles of land and ecological preservation, enjoyment for visitors, and a restriction on development, settlement, and sale.

In 2009, the national parks received more than three hundred million visitors, this is a phenomenal number and one that is expected to continue on an upward trend in the coming decade. The largest national park in the country is found in Alaska, Wrangel St Elias encompasses more than thirteen million acres of pristine wilderness. The smallest park in the country is the Thaddeus Kosciuszko National Memorial, located in Pennsylvania, and made up of only one fifth of an acre.

Many visitors to the nation’s most popular parks choose to stay in accommodation within the boundaries of the designated area. There is the option of luxury accommodation, such as what is found in Yosemite, or you can get back to nature by using one of the many campgrounds. If you are planning a trip to a national park during the busy summer season when schools are out, it would make sense to phone ahead to make a reservation.

Each national park charges an entry fee, the amount of which varies from park to park. You can purchase a special pass that grants entry to each of the country’s parks for a full twelve months, this can help save you a considerable sum of money.

For more information visit http://www.nps.gov/archive/parks.html