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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

National Park Service Anniversary

National Park Service Anniversary

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Thursday, April 21, 2016/Categories: natural history, wildlife conservation, photography, space science, sustainability, environment

              Yellowstone National Park, June 2013 (credit: Landsat 8)

In 1933 the authors of the Fauna of the National Parks of the US noted:

“Our national heritage is richer than just scenic features; the realization is coming that perhaps our greatest national heritage is nature itself, with all its complexity and its abundance of life, which, when combined with great scenic beauty as it is in the national parks, becomes of unlimited value.” 

Important words to consider in this year for the National Park Service.

A recent NASA photograph shows the boundaries of Yellowstone superimposed on a remote sensing image of a digital elevation landscape model created from Terra satellite data. Yellowstone became our first national park in 1872 and is a fine symbol of a reserve system that now includes parks big and small, protected biological habitats, wilderness areas, and historical sites. The geological features, wildlife, forests, and valleys of Yellowstone that draw visitors from around the world is repeated in all the other unique parks within the system.

Celebrating in this the Park Service in this 100th year anniversary is important. However, many issues now face the reserves today that couldn't be imagined in earlier decades. Rapid tourism growth, needs for wildlife restoration, environmental pollution issues, and climate change all require attention if the noble words of the early naturalists continue to be realized.

Riled Up editors


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