Should National Parks be Protected & Preserved by The Federal Government?

By Ian Teñido

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The question of whether the National Parks are important to a nation or not is not debatable; everyone at least, would agree that national parks play a significant role in not only preserving a nation’s ecology but also plays a natural role of enhancing the environment of a nation and the world at large. In the first place, creation of a national park is a full expression of optimism and faith in the future. In July 2001, a National Parks’ 21st Century report indicated that national parks’ protection is a pact between generations from the past to the future. While a section of the society are of the view that National Parks are irrelevant, I hold the view that it should be protected by the federal government for its sentimental values and importance to humanity to which I hold dear.

Conceived nearly 100 years ago, the national parks have served to connect us with our shared values as part of the heritage we cherish. We can proudly tell our stories in a continuum as long as national parks exist. Have you ever witnessed the October Fall colors, the spectacular red maples, hickories in the forests connecting to the smoky mountains above the canopy? To me, such an experience is simply magical, reviving and elating.  The collective sum of our national parks, military parks, recreation sites, historic sites, seashores and monuments as well as battlefields and heritage areas represent the diversity and the best that America has to Offer. National parks embody the true spirit of our existence and of our country and will incessantly bring our country’s history to life.

In every year, it is estimated that 300 million people visit the parks for a range of reasons. The national park visitors, both the US citizens and foreigners, form a very significant component of the US tourism industry. These tourists stay in the nearby hotels, dine at the local restaurants and buy retail accessories. The US economic survey estimates that nearly $3 billion is transacted for the fact that National Parks exist. The end result is that, people learn directly from the parks about national heritage, the revenue is streaming in and ultimately, the natural environment is being preserved for the benefit of both the present and future generations.

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It is however estimated that the National Parks protection fund suffers a shortfall of $500 million every year. These funds are required from the federal budget in order to maintain the parks’ sewers, conduct maintained activities, foundations and road surfaces.  Breakdown of national parks is equal to breakdown of our national heritage. Furthermore, the national parks should be protected for the following reasons:

  • National park sustainability challenges from the threats posed by climate change
  • National parks form part of America’s future
  • Alien species might extinct the national parks
  • Logging might finish up the forests
  • National parks promote tourism
  • National parks protect the national heritage
  • National parks are purely research and centers of learning
  • National parks are carbon sinks and a source of good health
  • They provide leisure and recreation
  • National parks protect the integrity of biodiversity

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Reference

Zhiyun Ouyang, Weihua Xu (2014). Integrating Nature Protection System and Establishing National Parks under Legislation. Biodiversity Science, 22(4): 425-426.

Google Image. National Park_USA [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.desicomments.com/wallpapers/national_park_usa/national_park_usa_118.jpg.

Google Image. USA National Parks Map [Image]. Retrieved from https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/3f/bb/7f/3fbb7f0fe1e48bf14ec270bd388067e4.jpg.

Google Image. US National Park Service [Image]. Retrieved from https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c5/US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo.svg/2000px-US-NationalParkService-ShadedLogo.svg.png.

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