Sat, Nov 24, 2018 - Page 9 News List

Crisis in national parks: How tourists are loving
nature to death

As thrill seekers and Instagrammers swarm public lands, reporting from seven sites across the US shows the scale of the threat

By Charlotte Simmonds, et al  /  The Guardian

“The ways people find out about — and visit — parks is changing,” national park service deputy director Lena McDowall told the US Senate subcommittee on national parks last year.

Many see meeting the needs of millennials as critical to keeping parks politically relevant amid funding challenges and the uncertainty of climate change, but the move may come at a cost.

“Why come to a national park as opposed to Disneyland? Because you get to confront natural wonders,” said Jeff Ruch, the executive director of Peer, an environmental advocacy organization that has spent years opposing National Park Service plans for expanding cell tower construction. “But if you interpose electronic devices in our view, you miss that.”

By Charlotte Simmonds, Annette McGivney, Patrick Reilly, Brian Maffly, Todd Wilkinson, Gabrielle Canon, and Monte Whaley. This is part I of a two-part story. Part II is to be published tomorrow. This story was reported and published in collaboration with the Denver Post, the Missoulian, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

This story has been viewed 2729 times.

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