Wednesday, October 19, 2011

National Parks 2011 Tour

As if you guys needed another reason to visit the National Parks in the US, I compiled two photos of each park (which was very difficult to narrow down) that I visited on my 2011 journey; 18 parks total. Looking back, it's hard to believe I was in so many beautiful places. I was getting weary towards the end of the US tour, and it's good to be resting in the big city, but I miss being in motion and venturing to new sights/lands. Figuring out my next moves, more on that later.

If you have not yet done so I highly suggest watching this informative documentary about America and the national parks. Taking kids and adults to see these natural wonders will hopefully teach us the importance of conservation. Understanding why it matters. We rely on the planet; the "environment" is not a separate issue from us.  We are a part of the environment and should show it some more respect.

Later on I will add, if possible, the other eight parks that I have been to. There are stats in captions under the original picture albums. I did not bother to go over all that again. Below are some stats I got from wiki.  Enjoy and click here for my album.

"The United States has 58 protected areas known as national parks, which are operated by the National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior. National parks must be established by an act of the United States Congress. The first national park, Yellowstone, was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, followed by Sequoia and Yosemite in 1890. The Organic Act of 1916 created the National Park Service "to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." National parks usually have a variety of natural resources over large areas. Many of them had been previously protected as National Monuments by the President under the Antiquities Act before being upgraded by Congress. Seven national parks are paired with a National Preserve, six of which are in Alaska. While administered together, they are considered as separate units and their areas are not included in the figures below. The newest national park is Great Sand Dunes, established in 2004.

Twenty-seven states have national parks, as do the insular areas of American Samoa and the United States Virgin Islands. Alaska and California have the most, each with eight, followed by Utah with five and Colorado with four. The largest national park is Wrangell–St. Elias, at over 8,000,000 acres (32,000 km2), followed by three more in Alaska; the smallest is Hot Springs, at less than 6,000 acres (24 km2). The total area protected by national parks is approximately 51,900,000 acres (210,000 km2), for an average of 895,000 acres (3,620 km2) but a median of only 317,000 acres (1,280 km2). The most-visited national park is Great Smoky Mountains, with over nine million visitors in 2008, followed by the Grand Canyon, with over four million. Fourteen national parks are designated World Heritage Sites."

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