About three weeks ago I moved to Zion National Park. As I was sitting in my office researching the park, so I would be able to answer any visitor questions, I saw something astounding. The visitation in Zion has increased from 2 million to 4.3 million in less than five years. I asked my supervisor why he thought the visitation had increased so much and he answered “social media.” I found this very interesting, about a year ago I wrote a blog entitled “How Social Media is Destroying our National Parks”, on this site and while I still stand by the arguments I made in the blog, today I thought that I would offer a different, alternative viewpoint on how social media is helping save our national parks. This issue is not, and has never been black and white.
When President Obama visited Yosemite and Carlsbad Caverns this month, he faced a lot of criticism. Some of the complaints were that the timing wasn’t right following the tragedy in Orlando, that his weekend visit interrupted the Father’s Day weekend of too many people in the crowded Yosemite, that he should be focused on more important things than the national parks, and finally that his transportation had a negative environmental impact on these places. Even if every single one of these complaints were absolutely legitimate, Obama’s visit to the parks was still important and still necessary.
When visiting Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, or any other of the vast number of protected scenic lands in the United States, most people are grateful that the land was set aside to be protected. But besides the immediate effects of conserving a piece of land, what other benefits do America’s Public Lands have on the green movement as a whole and how do they positively affect environmental stewardship?
We know the drought in California is bad. More than half the state now suffers from the most severe drought conditions possible and it’s only getting worse, according to recent reports.
A drought can have a massive impact on agriculture and the ecosystem, depending on how long it lasts and how widespread it is. Drought affects our lives in many different ways. We need water to live, and animals and plants do, too. And if water is scarce, the effects can be devastating./p>
The beauty of our country can often be understated, especially once you fall into a day-to-day routine that might not always enable time to be allotted for exploring the sites. The national parks of the United States are grandiose encapsulations of some of the best parts of this country. From coast to coast, from Redwood National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, parks play a huge role in the way we identify as Americans and how we frame our relationship with each other and the land we inhabit together as Americans. With the government shutdown calling into question the accessibility of the parks, as they’re all closed until funding is found, now is a great moment to reflect on our nation’s wonderful national parks:
When it comes to conservation, there are many incremental changes you can make to help the environment. And not only are you saving the environment, you’re saving money, too. So why not achieve both by incorporating a few simple changes into your routine? Below is a list of tips to help you get started towards a less expensive tomorrow and a greener, more sustainable environment.