As you might well imagine, I love our national parks. Unfortunately, in these times of budget cuts, that argument is simply not enough when it comes to keep the financial support coming to our national parks. What many people fail to realize, and what is often not expressed when it comes to the funding fights for national parks, is that national parks also provide a huge economic benefit. As part of the 96th birthday of the National Park Service, the National Parks Conservation Association has released an infographic that sums up some of the economic benefits that our national parks provide.
I encourage you to do more than simply look at the economic information provided, but take some notes and contact your congressional representative. Let them know that you strongly support the continued funding of national parks not only for the beauty they provide, but because of the economic benefits they provide.
As the inforgraphic plainly states at the very top:
After two years of declining funding, national parks now face the prospect of additional cuts, including the looming threat of the “sequester” schedule of January 2013. If Congress doesn’t agree on a deficit reduction plan, the Park Service could face cuts up to 10 percent. That would mean closed visitor centers, closed campgrounds, closed parks and thousands of park staff out of a job.
I must admit that I love the beach. When I eventually stop my travels, getting a place near the beach so that I can walk along the shore on a daily basis is something that I would love to do. There is simply something incredibly intriguing on how beaches change with each storm and all of the wonderful things that can be found while wandering the beach (obviously this doesn’t include the increasing amount of trash and plastic).
Beach #1 at Olympic National Park at Kalaloch was one of those wonderful beaches to explore that had so much more than sand and surf. The beach was protected by a line of trees on the hill above the dunes. Below the trees at the top portion of the beach was lined with driftwood that ranged from huge trees to small pieces as far as the eye could see. Below the driftwood was one of the largest assortments of perfect skipping stones that I have come across in all my travels. The beach was mostly the perfect sand beach that you imagine visiting, but sections had the skipping stones mixed in making a wonderful contrast. Here are a few of the photos I took that should make you want to take a visit as well:
It’s always great to hear about businesses that get behind national parks and help support the goals and efforts of the national park system. One business that supports national parks on a regular basis is Nature Valley and I think that they deserve a little shout out of appreciation for taking a lead in supporting the national park system.
One of the essentials that I take whenever I hike are snacks because I never know when a short hike will turn into a much longer journey as I wander national park trails. One of the snacks that can often be found in my backpack are Nature Valley granola bars.
On a recent trip to Olympic National Park, I stopped by a waterfall in the Fletcher Canyon area of Quinault Valley. As I placed my backpack down, I reached my hand inside and pulled out a snack. I decided that it would make a nice “thank you” photo in hopes of encouraging Nature Valley to continue their support of our national parks, and hopefully encourage other businesses to support them as well.
Nature Valley at waterfall in Olympic National Park