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Backpacker Magazine – November/December 2005

The Future Of National Parks

Everyone loves national parks--but are they being loved to death? Join representatives from the Park Service, Department of the Interior, Sierra Club, American Hiking Society, and more to explore the fate of this embattled American institution.

by: Peter Flax, BACKPACKER Executive Editor


HOW CAN WE BEST HELP THE PARKS?

Roderick Nash If people feel the parks are being inadequately protected, they need to stand up and make that case. It might require direct action rather than letters to a park superintendent. Fran Mainella If you go onto NPS.gov, you can find out about volunteering. Volunteerism contributes over 5 million hours of help annually, and it not only gets people out to do some projects we might not otherwise be able to do, but it also gives them a chance to see the parks from behind the scenes.

Bruce Hamilton Every park needs friends. At the very least, find the park closest to you and adopt it. If you don't have a local park, adopt one in Alaska because they need help.

Vin Cipolla I'd like to see extensive citizen support, tens of thousands of Americans contributing to the parks, whether it's $10 or $1 million. I would like to see parks become a $1 billion philanthropy. I don't think everything about the parks is the federal government's obligation. That is shirking our responsibility--and the personal connection, which we should be nurturing.



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