The real measure is how effectively the parks are managed. Death Valley National Park is substantially down in personnel, and there are rumors that the cost of the recent flash-flood damage that closed the park for a week will come from the regular budget. I just spent five days in Sequoia National Park’s backcountry. Some of the backcountry ranger locations are unstaffed. And at the visitor center, wood benches and concrete curbings are falling apart, and parts of the restroom facilities are unmaintained.
Of course, it’s not all bad. Sequoia National Park recently completed removal of something like a hundred buildings from a magnificent sequoia grove; they had been damaging the long-term viability of the grove. But that’s done, and we must be concerned with now and the future.
If the parks were well maintained and managed on 10 cents a year, no one would complain. It’s not the dollar amount that counts, it’s results.
Los Angeles, California
- Ed Morrow on After years of drought and overuse, the San Luis Valley aquifer refills
- Jake Sigg on Mapping the large-scale loss of natural areas in the West
- L Strader on Trial by fire
- ivonne cassaigne on The tenuous fate of the Southwest’s last jaguars
- william glasgow on Deaths renew calls for national parks to rescind BASE jumping bans