Day 71 – Protecting Our National Park System

Wiki: The United States has 62 protected areas known as national parks that are operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. National parks must be established by an act of the United States Congress. A bill creating the first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872.

The national parks set a visitation record in 2017, with more than 84 million visitors. The most-visited national park is Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee, with over 11.3 million visitors in 2017, followed by Arizona’s Grand Canyon National Park, with over 6.2 million.

NY Times: Our parks were intended as havens from the stresses of the modern world and places where the nation’s natural and historic legacies would be preserved. But the world continues to close in on them. The National Parks Conservation Association said that 96 percent of the parks were compromised by “significant” air pollution problems, with most having unhealthy air for portions of the year.

National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) maintains that the Top 12 National Parks are Being Threatened by Trump Administration’s Energy Agenda. From Sequoia National Park to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, to Big Cypress National Preserve, Spoiled Parks explores how current leasing policies have scarred landscapes and threaten future harm to clean air, cultural heritage, wildlife and thriving tourism economies. More than19 million acres of public land – an area larger than the state of West Virginia – have been offered for oil and gas leasing since the Trump administration took office. Download the complete report.

Center for American Progress (CAP) further asserts that Trump has been The Most Anti-Nature President in U.S. History. President Donald Trump has thrown in reverse the United States’ proud, bipartisan record of nature conservation. CAP calculates that over the past three years, the Trump administration has attempted to remove protections from nearly 35 million acres of public lands. As the coronavirus pandemic has laid bare, protected lands and waters are a critical service—from providing clean air and water, to regulating diseases, to offering an open space to get outside and stay active. In short, healthy, intact natural systems underpin healthy, prosperous communities.

Regardless of your political affiliation, it’s hard to argue that National Parks are an essential cornerstone of our American heritage and needed refuge from our ever dwindling natural habitats. National parks provide opportunities for recreation, camping, and walking. They inspire us by their natural beauty, whether the beauty comes from mountains, lakes, rivers or plains. Further, National Parks: Help Protect Wildlife, Help Protect Landscapes, Preserve History, Preserve Cultures and Tribes, and Give People the Chance for Healthy Activity.

National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) stated mission is Protecting and enhancing America’s National Park System for present and future generations. In addition, they are also advocate and educate. Donate here to help NPCA protect and preserve our National Parks System.