10 Problems Our National Parks Are Facing
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

10 Problems Our National Parks Are Facing

Teddy Roosevelt is rolling around in his grave…

15196
10 Problems Our National Parks Are Facing
The Next Web

I asked my boyfriend what I should write on this week, and while looking at a picture of a tree he said, “how about the problems facing our national parks?” That sounded like a good topic to me, since I’m always interested in environmental topics. Then I learned that August 25 of this year is actually the centennial of the National Park Service. So thank you Aaron for the idea, and Happy Birthday, NPS!

Now, here are 10 problems that our national parks are facing, in no particular order. I gathered much of my information from National Geographic, as well as a few other sources included in hyperlinks throughout the article.

1. Waste Management

According to the National Parks Conservation Association, a study conducted by Subaru and the NPCA found that many Americans are unaware of the waste issues facing our National Parks. However, 4 in 5 Americans are willing to do something about it. Perhaps not surprisingly, a small range of everyday items are the main culprit for the waste issues, because they are the main waste items sent to landfills. Plastic waste mainly, including items such as “water bottles, plastic bags, non-recyclable or compostable food packaging, and paper hot cups.”

2. Air Pollution

Smog from nearby cities can cause issues for the parks. They can disrupt views, harm plants and wildlife, and negatively affect the water supplies. It can also deter human visitors and cause problems for them as well.

The Great Smoky Mountains are suffering from smog from nearby power plants and industrial centers. The smog then gets trapped between the mountains and lingers around the park.

3. Things Are Getting Old

Many of the national parks are designed to preserve landmarks from early in our history such as Independence Hall. Many of these locations are aging and need repair, but as I will discuss later in this list, the park service has a tight budget and has trouble keeping up.

4. Wildlife Trouble

Because most national parks are not secluded and sectioned off in a definite way, the surrounding areas are often developed into residential areas, or used for logging, farming, mining, and many other things. This endangers wildlife, because the protected animals can’t understand the parks boundaries and venture in and out of the protected area to find what they need. The land around national parks need to be protected too.

5. Invasive Species*

Invasive species may also be a problem. Other species grow their way into the areas of protected species in the park and cause problems, such as the fish-killing parasite in the Yellowstone River.

*There is a book that comes to mind on why invasive species may actually be a good thing (“nature’s salvation,” in fact). I have not read this book, so I don’t feel comfortable saying that they are definitely bad without reading the book’s argument first.

6. Climate Change

This isn’t a difficult conclusion, since climate change affects the whole planet it affects the national parks too. For example, glaciers may melt and fire seasons may extend.

7. Water Shortages

Human demand mixed with drought and climate change cause water shortages in many parks. For example, the Colorado River runs through ten national parks (including the Grand Canyon) and is being drawn from for farmlands and cities.

8. Tourist Attraction: Too Much and Not Enough

Overcrowding is a problem in some parks; however, in other lesser known parks, there aren’t enough tourists coming through to support the park. So, look up lots of little parks to visit, not only the famous ones. The little ones are fun too! In the more famous parks, such as Yellowstone, many people snowmobile, ski, mountain bike, and enjoy other hobbies. This adds to the experience of the park in some ways, but hurts it in some ways too.

9. Budget Problems

As alluded too before, the National Park Service doesn’t receive the amount of funds that it needs to support and maintain all of the parks in the way they need to be maintained. According to National Geographic, there is a $9.5 billion maintenance backlog that the NPS is waiting on to upkeep the parks.

10. Energy

Mining and drilling for energy can hurt the ecosystems of the parks, and can also contribute to the smog problems that hurt the organisms and the water supply.

If this piqued your interest, and you’d like to learn more, here is a link to the National Parks Conservation Association. This website has a lot to offer in terms of information, as well as things you can do to help. I’ve briefly summarized some of the topics here, but there’s always more to learn!

In case you’re curious about the origin of our national parks and would like to know more of the history, here is a link to the National Park Service’s page about the history of the parks.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Student Life

20 Things I Learned By The Start of My 20s

No one expects you to have your life together by the time you're 20, because honestly, they didn't either.

10537
Allyson Foutty

We are all often faced with many life challenges throughout the time leading up to our 20s. Before this time, and throughout it, we often look back at the things we've learned and how they've influenced who we are as people today. Some of my biggest influences were some of the challenges I've faced, but they've taught me 20 important things by the start of my 20s.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Boyfriend Recipe

The ingredients to build a relationship are a little more complicated than just a bouquet of flowers and a box of candy.

9122

Relationships. Long distance or not, significant others are much more than just that. I would be lying if I said I did not love the sweet gestures that only a boyfriend can give. The flowers, funny phone calls, hand holding, breakfast dates, and tight hugs are special but my relationship and many others out there exist on much more than just these little gestures. It is a tricky concoction that consists of one part boyfriend and two parts best friend and would not work without one part or the other. While having a relationship may not be quite as easy as baking a batch of cookies, it has its own recipe (with a few variations for flavor) to follow for a good match.

Keep Reading... Show less
google images

Fashion just keeps growing and changing and old trends are made new! Now, I'm no beauty guru, just a beauty guru wannabe, but personally I have compiled some stylish wardrobe must haves! These can be cute assets to go back to school or just to catch up on some of the latest trends...

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

There's More To A Relationship Than Netflix

Summertime is only 93 days of the year, Find something to do!

9332
Tallie Ammar

Summertime is ideal for more than just hanging out and binging your favorite TV series with your friends. Although summer does bring rain and thunderstorms which is perfect for those binging days, take advantage of those nice and sunny days. There is so many opportunities to get out of the house and enjoy the season before the snow starts to come back. Here are 25 interesting dates that are doable almost anywhere for any age.

Keep Reading... Show less
Leilani Encarnacion

Philadelphia has its beauty, but some of you may have not been to some of the most beautiful hidden spots in the city. This summer is a chance for new adventures and exploring, so here are a few places that I highly recommend you should visit at least once.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments