national park system

Celebrating the Birth of America’s National Park System

Yellowstone–the World’s First National Park–Created 150 Years Ago

  American author, historian and conservationist Wallace Stegner once observed: “National parks are the best idea we ever had.  Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than at our worst.” More recently, Ken Burns channeled Stegner in titling Burns’ award-winning PBS documentary, “The National Parks–America’s Best Idea.” The National Park System …

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America’s Best Environmental and Economic Bargain

…and Other Concluding Thoughts About the National Park System

(This is the final installment in a series of posts celebrating the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service.) A wag once observed: It’s hell getting old, but it beats the alternative. I can personally attest to the fact that it’s not a lot of fun achieving senior citizen status.  I can’t run as far …

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Major Challenges Face the National Park Service in Its Next Century

Park Overcrowding, Crumbling Infrastructure, Changing Constituency Top the List

(This is the third in a series of posts this week commemorating the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service.) To be sure, the National Park Service has much to celebrate as it observes its 100th birthday.  The Park Service oversees a stunning and diverse set of national parks, monuments, historic and …

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The (Relatively) Unknown Treasures of the National Park Service

Our National Park System Consists of Far More Than Just National Parks

When most Americans think of the National Park Service, they contemplate the nation’s stellar collection of national parks: Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Everglades and the other 56 parks created by acts of Congress since 1872.  But that’s only part of the story and holdings of the National Park Service, which celebrates its 100th birthday this week. …

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