National parks are a big part of America. These natural wonders symbolize the richness and diversity of the American land and tourists flock by the dozens. These ecological landmarks aren’t just popular as tourist attractions but also help generate money that boosts the economy. And the best thing about these national parks is that they scattered all over the country, so you are sure to find your own piece of paradise in the many states of America wherever you may be.
National parks are mainly here because of conservation efforts. In a world that is rapidly modernizing, we should make an effort in protecting these pieces of land that serve as the last natural frontiers here on the planet. They are also often open to guests while others require making arrangements beforehand especially during peak season. You can camp for a night or two and enjoy plenty of outdoor activities to recharge your senses before returning to your daily grind.
With many public lands next door to some of the country’s most visited canyons, waterfalls, and mountain peaks, these lesser-known natural gems are a great way to avoid the crowds while still getting to experience all that nature has to offer. Whether your national park adventure is during National Park Week (April 15-23), in the summer or a last-minute trip, pair it with one these neighboring public lands, chosen by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
It is common knowledge that national parks are properties of the state. They are a big part of our rich history and a shining example of natural diversity you can seldom find in modern America. Popular ones are the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park that attracts thousands of visitors yearly. However, some parks are also suffering from climate change and pollution that hastens erosion making preservation extra harder.
President Trump is donating $78,333.32 — his salary since taking office Jan. 20 — to the National Park Service, officials said Monday.
White House spokesman Sean Spicer opened his daily press briefing by presenting a Trump-signed check to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Tyrone Brandyburg, superintendent of the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia.
“We’re going to dedicate it and put against the infrastructure on our nation’s battlefields,” Zinke said. “We’re about $100 million or $229 million behind in deferred maintenance on our battlefields alone.”
Trump may be a man of contradictions. Despite his many flaws, this unexpected support from President Trump can do wonders in advancing wildlife conservation efforts and in protecting the parks from natural threats.
Climate change is killing trees, threatening birds and mammals, and leading to devastating wildfires across the 85m acres run by the NPS. Patrick Gonzalez, the principal climate-change scientist at the NPS, told me about rising sea levels (there’s been a 22cm rise across the bay at Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California, since 1954); high ocean temperatures bleaching and killing coral in Virgin Islands National Park; and major vegetation types and wildlife moving upwards.
Yosemite saw subalpine forests moving up into subalpine meadows over the last century and small mammals, including mice and ground squirrels, shifting 500m uphill. “As temperatures warm,” he said, “things on higher elevations get warmer and things on lower elevations move up.” Bark beetles, once killed by cold winters, are now surviving and wreaking havoc with trees. “You go to Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone… hillsides formerly covered in a green canopy of trees are now just rust-coloured areas.”
If no action is taken, the glaciers of Glacier National Park may melt away; Joshua trees could die out in the park that bears their name; bison may disappear from Yellowstone; and the ancient cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde in Colorado could crumble away.
There are still countless setbacks and challenges along the way. Despite Trump’s generosity in donating a portion of his salary as US president to the National Park Service, the various budget cuts he imposes also hurt the environment leaving it devoid of the funding it needs to support their conservation efforts. For starters, Trump does not believe in climate change and thinks of it as a hoax. Even some members of his cabinet are science skeptics. If this goes on, America has a lot to lose without these natural wonders that are only exclusive to this part of the world.