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“It was here that the romance of my life began.” – Theodore Roosevelt, one of the National Park system’s greatest champions, on what would become Badlands National Park

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Our National Parks system has made quite a few headlines in recent weeks. While much attention has been focused on their official social media accounts being gagged and various park rangers going rogue by Tweeting climate change facts, I was struck by a less viral but potentially far more impactful story: a piece of Congressional legislation that some conservationists fear may eventually threaten our cherished public lands.

But more on that in a minute. First, I want to show you why it matters.

Joshua Tree National Park

The National Parks and Lands I Love

I admit that my appreciation of these natural treasures has been a newfound one. I didn’t really grow up camping or hiking or going off the grid very often, and visiting National Parks just plain wasn’t on my radar until recently.

But I’ve fallen fast and hard. Here are a few that stole my heart.

• Haleakalā National Park: Dang, I love Haleakalā National Park. Maui’s enormous park is separated into two different “districts” – the summit district mountain area, where many tourists flock for sunrise, and the Kīpahulu district coastal area, where daytrippers on the Road to Hana make the ‘Ohe’o Gulch their ultimate goal.

On my first trip to Maui, I crushed a twelve-mile hike in the Haleakalā crater and watched one of the most beautiful sunsets of my life from its summit. On my second trip to Maui, I soared over Haleakalā’s slopes as a paraglider and down them on a mountainbike. For my third and most recent trip to Maui, I camped on at the Kīpahulu shoreline and hiked to its most iconic waterfalls. Haleakalā represents so much of what I love about Hawaii.

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

• Joshua Tree National Park: After hearing a college friend gush about Joshua Tree National Park, I knew I had to see its famous Seuss-like trees for myself. Driving around the surreal desert landscape in a convertible was one of the best days I’ve ever had in California. Easy hiking loops, sweeping viewpoints and the most unique flora I’ve ever photographed will definitely lure me back for an overnight camping trip in the future.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

• Everglades National Park: As a Florida flan I was giddy to flock to Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States. The park has multiple land-based entrances that don’t connect within the park, giving visitors a very unique experience at each. I fell in love with the croc-covered biking trail at Shark Valley, and I hope to return someday to hike, bike and boat at Flamingo, the southernmost point in mainland Florida.

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

Everglades National Park

• Grand Canyon National Park: Who doesn’t dream of someday visiting Grand Canyon National Park? My first glance at the Grand Canyon was on tribal lands at the so-called “West Rim” and my second was from a helicopter ride from Vegas, both of which just whet my appetite for a true adventure there. I finally got it in the form of an RV road trip that involved camping along the South Rim.

My new dream? To return someday to complete the full, famous North Rim to South Rim trek – and to tackle a rafting tour of the Colorado River.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

• Volcanoes National Park: The Big Island came to life for me at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, where you can literally watch an island being born. I spent a day road tripping through the park’s two scenic drives, dotted with short hikes, a viewpoint of the continually erupting Halema’uma’u Crater, and a dramatic coastal arch. Later, I watched lava bubble from a helicopter over the park.

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to Hawaii anytime soon, I recommend you to book it to the Big Island – the lava is literally popping off right now!

Volcano National Park

Volcano National Park

Volcano National Park

• Glen Canyon National Recreation Area: While not a National Park, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is managed by the parks service and thus visits are included in the America The Beautiful annual park passes.

As part of the same road trip that kicked off with a night at the Grand Canyon, I spent two night camping alongside Lake Powell at Wahweap and later took a boat tour from the Glen Canyon dam. Of all the special lands on this list, this is the one I was most struck by and am most eager to return to.

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

My National Parks Wishlist

So where to next? Well guys, I’m thinking that I might just have to hit them all eventually. But working with my already existing possible travel plans, these are three parks that I’m now hoping to prioritize visiting and supporting in 2017:

• Acadia National Park: One of the main attractions at Maine’s Acadia National Park (sorry, couldn’t help myself) is Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the East Coast. I’d love to hike it! Also enticing is the possibility of spotting moose, an animal I’ve grown obsessed with seeing with my own eyes in the wild. Whale watching, blueberry ice cream eating, and unironic flannel wearing are three more reasons to make Maine, and the East Coast’s first National Park, happen for me this summer.

Bar Harbor(source)

• Biscayne National Park: Colorful coral reefs, sandy islands, and mangrove forests might not be the first things you envision when you think of the National Parks Service, but Florida’s Biscayne National Park, the largest marine park in the National Parks system, is a proud member. Diving protected wrecks along the underwater Maritime Heritage Trail, camping on islands accessible only by boat, and stand up paddling through the mangroves? Yup, I think Biscayne and I will be best of friends.

Key Biscayne(source)

• Great Basin National Park: Frankly, I hadn’t heard of Great Basin National Park, Nevada’s lone National Park, until I started researching this post. And between the subterranean tour of Lehman Caves, some of the best astronomy admiring in the country, and Promethean Bristlecone Pine forest, debatably the oldest living organism on earth, I have no idea why not. Best of all? In 2015 Great Basin welcomed just 116,123 visitors – compare that to the Grand Canyon’s 5.5 million – so there’s a high likelihood I’ll have the place to myself.

Grand Basin(source)

National Parks In The News

So what inspired this patriotic outpouring of park loving? This past week, Congress made moves that could potentially impact federal public lands. The headlines that resulted were alarming, and I spent hours poring over every article and document I could find about this legislation to figure out if I needed to immediately chain myself to a tree or not.

Volcano National Park

Here what happened. A financial resolution quietly passed by the House of Representatives in January will now make it much easier for the government to potentially transfer federal land to the states.

If you want to learn more, The Guardian is producing excellent, in-depth coverage of this issue – though they aren’t shying away from naming parties. Outside Magazine is also doing some seriously impressive journalism that is ever so slightly less politically-charged — though it’s kind of hard to avoid on this issue. Or, you can continue to read my take…

Why not allow the states to manage public land, you ask?

Well, we’re talking about the potential release of millions of acres from federal protection, including some that are directly adjacent to national parks — such as the proposed uranium mining site alongside the Grand Canyon. This release could result in limited public access, open protected areas to drilling and property development, and cause confusion and contamination in ecosystems that cross state boundaries. (A contaminated river in one state cavalier with regulations could pollute the entire watershed, for example.)

Joshua Tree National Park

Haleakala National Park

In many cases, state governments simply don’t have the budget or the resources to manage and maintain these lands. Studios in both Idaho and Wyoming concluded that those states did not have the means to undertake basic land maintenance, like fighting forest fires for examples. Eventually, the public fears, the states would have no choice but to sell.

It might help, at this point, to clarify what exactly federal public land is. National Parks and monuments make up about 11% of it. The other 89% is made up of areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management, National Forests and Federal Wildlife Refuges — much of this is mixed use, which means in addition to being used for hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, biking and beyond, it’s already open to regulated leasing from drilling and mining industries. While National Parks make the headlines, selling of any federal lands sets a dangerous precedent, and all public lands are worthy of our protection.

And the National Parks aren’t exactly exempt, either. A bold and failed 2012 attempt by a Utah State Legislator demanded that the government transfer all 31 million acres of public land within Utah to the state, including Bryce, Zion, and Arches National Parks. The same year, Arizona passed a similar measure that was voted down in every county before being veto-ed by the governor. Others have mushroomed up in nearby states — despite widespread unpopularity among constituents.

And therein lies the beautiful thing in a time marked by divisive political vitriol: support for public lands is vast and wide and uniquely bipartisan! It’s an issue where hunters and fisherman stand alongside staunch conservationists and vow to protect what’s wild. In fact, a 2016 study found that 95% of Americans believe that National Parks are worth protecting — and 80% even offered to pony up higher taxes to do so. National Parks aside, even in the Western States, polls conducted by Colorado College show 58 percent of voters opposed transfer of lands away from the federal government.

Grand Canyon National Park

Haleakala National Park

With so much public support, some might ask who public lands need defending against. The answer isn’t surprising: so called “extractive industries” such as oil and gas, and the politicians who feel loyal to them. “In the absence of substantial mineral wealth, none of this would come close to penciling out,” writes Robert Keiter of the University of Utah.

“These groups are trying to convince people that they should voluntarily relinquish land that they currently own,” says Brad Brooks, who works on the land transfer issue for the Wilderness Society. “The losers will be the public who are not affluent.  The winners will be people and corporations who can afford to buy land. — Outside Magazine

Look, I’m not here to contribute to the alarmist headlines or spread undue panic. We don’t need to stage a sit it in at Sequoia – yet. But bills to parcel off federal land are already being introduced (read on for the story of what happened to one of them!) If public lands are important to you, now is the time to start keeping an eye on this legislation and to show you care in whatever way feels authentic to you.

I feel in my heart that these lands are too precious to cross our fingers and hope for the best for. If the last few months have taught me anything, it’s to take nothing I hold dearly for granted.

Everglades National Park

Haleakala National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

How You Can Help

First is the most fun: go enjoy our beautiful public lands! Even before this week’s legislative threats, our parks are in peril, according to some accounts. Climate change, a backlog of maintenance in the billions, and attendance reports all raise concerns. Americans may love our National Parks in theory, but we need to put it into practice.

While total park attendance is technically at an all time high, digging a little deeper reveals that visitation has declined on a per capita basis, and less overall hours are being spent in the parks. And the rising age of the average National Park visitor is a red flag for the Parks Service, who is aware that they need to cultivate the next generation of park visitors and advocates.

I plan to do my tiny little part by continuing to visit as many parks as I can and promote them here and via social media. I’d love to see your trips as well – tag me when you visit National Parks so I can follow your trips, too!

Haleakala National Park

Haleakala National Park

Of course, you can always donate. But not just money – also your time, your knowledge, or even your art. Learn more here. Want to contribute financially but in a way that’s a little more fun? This list of beautiful nature-inspired products that raise money for the Parks Service is a good way to give back.

Haleakala National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

Finally, call and write to your representatives — I wrote five letters today. Remember that your representatives are there to serve you, their constituents. The widespread support for public lands might be comforting to some, but we know public opinion and policy don’t always match – which is why it’s so important to make sure your opinion is known to the politicians who represent you.

Because they listen! Last week, US congressman Jason Chaffetz introduced House Bill 621, which would have forced the sale of a public land area the size of Connecticut. Yesterday, he withdrew after an outpouring of public passion, promising via Instagram that his constituents had been heard. What an amazing success story. Let’s hope he follows suit with House Bill 622, another piece of legislation aimed at chipping away public land rights.

Nothing makes me happier than seeing a diverse group of Americans unite on a goal that serves the greater good. It gives me hope that we the people… we can do anything.

Haleakala National Park

Grand Canyon National Park

Here’s to a lifetime of adventures exploring wild, wide open spaces. 

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We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone.” – Theodore Roosevelt

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68 Comments...
  • Anne
    February 3 2017

    If you’re looking for moose, I’d highly recommend visiting Isle Royale National Park. It’s one of the least visited National Parks and is only open during the summer months. It’s also home to a unique study on the predator-prey relationship between moose and wolves. I could go on and on! Possibly a neat scuba diving opportunity, too!

    • I spent 8 days backpacking Isle Royale and didn’t see a single moose or wolf 🙁 A great reason to return, I suppose!
      Leigh | Campfires & Concierges recently posted..Kayak Camping in Baja Mexico

      • Alex
        February 6 2017

        My moose luck has been poor so far too, Leigh. Was crossing my fingers for one in Newfoundland this summer but no luck!

      • Anne
        February 6 2017

        They’re pretty elusive. I lived in moose territory for 21 years and only saw them in the wild once…although, I did luck out and see a pair.

        • Alex
          February 6 2017

          Wow! Okay, that makes me feel better about my own non-sighting…

          • Jon
            February 15 2017

            Alaska is a great place to see moose! When we went a few years ago they were plentiful… We had to see close to 50 in the two and a half weeks we were there!

          • Alex
            February 26 2017

            Wow, that’s amazing! I’d feel lucky to see just one — I think I’d faint at fifty!

          • Laerke
            February 18 2017

            Sweden is a great place to spot moose 🙂 I’m Danish but my uncle lives in Sweden, and he sometimes sees them walk through his garden! If you end up not seeing any, there are parks where you can go on moose safaris in your own car – guaranteed sightings! 🙂

          • Alex
            February 27 2017

            Um, that sounds like a dream! Moose safari? Sign me up!

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      I admit it — I had to look up what state that’s even in! Thank you for putting it on my radar.

  • Noel
    February 3 2017

    Thank you for taking the time to research and write this, Alex! I am a lover of nature as well, but don’t always stay up to date on what is going on in politics. I appreciate you raising my awareness, and will keep my eyes peeled for articles about this subject. I have gotten the chance to see a few of our beautiful national parks, but not nearly enough. Yellowstone has been one of my favorites, I hope that is on your list, as it is truly an incredible place 🙂

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Hey Noel, you are so welcome! Right now, the next fight is HR Bill 622, introduced by the same Utah Legislator who introduced (and later killed) Bill 621. It’s another bill designed to chip away at federal public land. I have my alarm set to call his office today!

      I would LOVE to see Yellowstone someday.

  • Cate
    February 3 2017

    Thank you Alex for writing about conservation and the environment on your blog! It is so important to protect the earth, especially now with our new administration! I honestly haven’t visited many parks, but your list was inspiring! Keep up the great work girl!
    Cate recently posted..Inciting Wanderlust: Favorite Travel Books and Movies

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      You are so welcome Cate! I didn’t start really prioritizing them until years and years into my travels — now I can’t wait to make up for lost time. First, fighting HR Bill 622!

  • Stephanie
    February 3 2017

    YES!! Thank you for this! Is it possible that you and I share a brain? I’ve been focusing quite a bit of time and energy on this issue as well as a few others that you’ve been talking about on your other platforms. It’s so comforting to see other travelers and adventurists speaking up about issues that matter. You’re totally right- where our land is concerned these pieces of legislation are absolutely nonpartisan. I’ve spent the last month visiting some of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever seen right here in our own backyard (if you haven’t been to Bryce or Zion- get there asap!). Our National Parks are some of our greatest treasures and one of my main reasons for traveling so much within the good ol USA. Keep fighting the good fight! If there comes a time where chaining ourselves to the trees is necessary, I’ll be right there with ya!

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Brain sharing is a very real possibility 🙂 In this very divisive time I find it so comforting to focus on an issue like this that so many diverse groups of people come together on. I really respect the work that the hunting and fishing enthusiasts of this country have done here, and it makes me look at hunting, which I’ve always felt a little morally ambiguous about, in a very new light. Here’s to keeping it wild!

  • Jen Ambrose
    February 3 2017

    Thank you for posting this! I share your love for national parks and am so sad to see everything that’s going on. 🙁
    Jen Ambrose recently posted..15 Totally Unique Airbnb Rentals for Under $50

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      I have found the most comforting and uplifting thing to be taking gentle action 🙂 Hence, my writing this post… it was very cathartic. It’s like that saying, “don’t agonize, organize.”

  • Sarah
    February 3 2017

    Great post! The National Parks belong to all of us. I would add Yosemite and Yellowstone to your list as well…simply amazing!

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Oh of course, all the big rockstar parks are absolutely on my list! I know that a BIG trip out West is in my future, someday… I hope an adorable camper outfitted with an office is part of the equation 😉

  • Carly
    February 3 2017

    Yes! This is one of the big issues that has inspired and motivated me to become more educated (and more involved) in politics and our political process. Keep our National Parks and public lands protected, wild, and accessible to all. Couldn’t agree more. Great post!
    Carly recently posted..California Road Trip Day 3: Yosemite Hiking 4 Mile Trail – Panorama Trail – Mist Trail

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      That’s inspiring to hear, Carly! I’m sure then that you know the outdoor community is now turning their attention on HR Bill 622, introduced by the same Utah Legislator who brought and then binned Bill 621. It’s another attempt to chip away at federal public land. I’m calling his office today to voice my concerns!

  • Gemma Armit
    February 3 2017

    One of the main reasons I want to locate to Canada is to be closer to the States for its national parks. I’m with the 95% of Americans (and I’m Scottish!) Major eye candy.

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      I can only imagine that much of the world agrees! When I did my campervan road trip last summer I was amazed by how many foreign tourists we met — more than Americans, it seemed!

  • Kate Storm
    February 3 2017

    LOVE this post, thank you for bringing attention to such an important topic.

    I also considered chaining myself to a tree immediately upon hearing about HB 621, and breathed a quiet sigh of relief when it was scrapped–for now.

    I had no idea per capita park attendance is down, and that is a shame. Our wilderness is one of our greatest treasures as Americans.
    Kate Storm recently posted..Show Me The Money: Travel Budget for Mexico

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Yeah, the numbers can be deceiving! All time attendance is higher than ever, but so too is the population. Now onward to the fight against HB 622!

  • Joanne the crazy woman
    February 3 2017

    National Parks are awesome and we need them to keep places protected and around for future generations
    Joanne the crazy woman recently posted..Heard while watching Sunrise

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Agreed… they are our legacy!

  • Dominique
    February 3 2017

    Great post to raise awareness of something which might slip through the cracks in these slightly crazy times. I for one would love to visit as many National Parks as possible! I haven’t planned my second trip to the US yet, but if I do a NP will certainly be involved 🙂
    Dominique recently posted..Vatnajökull National Park – Misadventures of Glacier Hiking

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Trust me, it will be hard to pick just one! 🙂 There are already so many I want to visit, and I am learning about new ones all the time…

  • Oh Alex, this is exactly the post that’s been swimming around in my head that I haven’t had the “put-togetherness” to write. I end up digging through articles and just getting angry. I love your link to the Mother Nature Network – I’m going to look into doing as many of those things as possible.

    I’m going to Acadia National Park this summer. I’m so freaking excited! I’m also heading out to Utah to do the big five. And who knows which other trips I’ll add on. I’m obsessed with these lands. 🙂
    Amanda | Chasing My Sunshine recently posted..The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ski Day?

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      That’s amazing Amanda! If you’re heading to Utah, I would absolutely encourage you to reach out to the Congresspeople (persons?) there and let them know that as someone who travels there to spend your tourist dollars in the state, you don’t support federal land transfers! Utah is the primary battleground on this issue as I’m sure you know.

      • Yes that’s what I’m thinking! How do I show Utah’s government that while I’m traveling and able to enjoy these lands that I think they should stay public?? This is one case where social media and my blog might feel like it’s meaning something again if I can use it for an outlet. I’ve been struggling with writing otherwise!

        If you have any great ideas for communication with their government let me know. ?
        Amanda @ Chasing My Sunshine recently posted..The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Ski Day?

        • Alex
          February 8 2017

          Yup, I’d say social media, your blog, and directly calling Utah’s congresspeople to tell them that’s why you’re there! I just Googled their names and then their office phone numbers and got right through. You’ll speak to a congressional aid or leave a message. A little intimidating at first but I think it will get easier with time. You go girl!

  • Holly
    February 3 2017

    It’s funny, I live just north of Maine (New Brunswick), and have been telling myself for a few years now that I’d get to Acadia National Park. I think this blog post may have been the final motivation I needed!

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Now that’s what I love to hear, Holly! If you, send me your tips 🙂

  • Kathryn Allen
    February 3 2017

    I forwarded this to my environmental activist superhero friend.

    So proud of the work you are doing to raise awareness of what we must do to protect our national treasures from corporate theft.

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Thank you for raising two little activist daughters <3

  • Melissa
    February 3 2017

    Fantastic article, Alex!

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Thank you Melissa! Much appreciated <3

  • Lily
    February 3 2017

    Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor have been my family’s number 1 vacation spot for as long as I can remember, so if you’d like any recommendations for the area let me know! I could literally write my own travel guide for it (it’s actually one of the first posts I have planned for when I get my own blog out of the planning stage) and I could talk about it for days! It’s a place I’m just totally in love with.

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Hey Lily thank you and I will take you up on that once my dates for Maine are locked in! I’m so excited about making this happen this summer!

  • Arianwen
    February 4 2017

    This is such an important issue and one close to my heart as a zoology graduate. I’m also keen to promote the protection of marine parks. It’s shocking to see the effects that human activities are having in places like the Great Barrier Reef, the Maldives and even Komodo. When I did my dive masters in Komodo I joined an initiative called Trash Hero to help clean up and to educate the next generation about taking better care of their environment.
    Arianwen recently posted..Volcano Boarding in Nicaragua: Be Safe; Be Responsible; Have a Blast!

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Trash Hero is here on Koh Tao as well 🙂 They do great work indeed!

  • Thank you for spreading the word – our parks are sacred and should be expanded, not sold off.
    Leigh | Campfires & Concierges recently posted..Kayak Camping in Baja Mexico

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      I couldn’t agree more. National treasures not for sale!

  • Marni
    February 6 2017

    I LOVE this post. It’s such an important topic and it’s such a worthwhile venture. Since this year is Canada’s 150th, all our national parks are free to enter (you still have to “purchase” a pass to display in your vehicle), and I’m hoping that people will not only go this year, but will support and revisit in future years.
    Marni recently posted..My 10 Favorite Pictures in 2016

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      I’ve seen so many of my friends talking about the free National Parks pass in Canada… so cool! I’m sure it will inspire plenty of first time visitors who will become loyal fans.

  • Carmela
    February 6 2017

    Thank you for posting and outlining some actionable next steps. Even though I love traveling internationally, I found out a few years ago that there’s SO much to explore in the national parks of our motherland. Arches & Zion NP were the biggest surprises and I did leave a big piece of my heart in all the national (and state) parks in Hawaii.
    Carmela recently posted..Makalawena – Our First Hawaiian Beach

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Zion just literally looks like Eden to me whenever I see it in photos. I can’t wait to get there someday… I think it’s going to exceed even my crazy high expectations!

  • Excellent, timely post. And let’s not forget my beloved Smokies, which have seen their share of turmoil in recent months. On one of your future trips to see me, we definitely need to do a little mountain retreat there! It’s sooooo gorgeous.
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..From the City to the Coast: Our Final Day on Curaçao

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      I would love that! And I have to admit, I have no idea what’s been going on in the Smokies. You’ll have to fill me in on our trip!

  • The short version of what we went through from October-December:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Great_Smoky_Mountains_wildfires
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..From the City to the Coast: Our Final Day on Curaçao

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Oh gosh yes of course now I remember this. So, so sad. Interestingly, forest fires were something that came up again and again in my research. Apparently fighting them takes up a HUGE part of the maintenance budget for public lands, and it’s one of the main areas where states feel they just couldn’t foot the bill if they were in charge.

  • And then queen Dolly raised beaucoup money and offered to pay the bills of all the locals who were affected for six months:

    http://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2016/12/14/dolly-partons-smoky-mountains-rise-telethon-raises-nearly-9m/95453636/
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..From the City to the Coast: Our Final Day on Curaçao

  • Ijana Loss
    February 7 2017

    Yes, keep the parks safe!! National Parks are a US treasure, it would be such a shame for all this crap to negatively impact them. I feel like doing a Utah parks tour now, I’ve only ever been to Bryce and Zion.

    • Alex
      February 8 2017

      I definitely want to do a big parks tour someday with a tricked out RV! It’s something I’d definitely need to set aside a few months for to do it right the way I want to do it… but it’s definitely percolating back there in my brain!

  • becky hutner
    February 7 2017

    Thank you so much for putting in the legwork to bring this issue to our attention Alex. And for pointing us to The Guardian’s coverage which is indeed great & is where I learned the bill was overturned thank God. For now. I love your simple suggestion of making it a priority to visit the parks. Which I will indeed do. We share favourites with Joshua Tree & Everglades and I also had an amazing experience in Sequoia. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve yet to see Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon & so many others but they are massively on the list!

    • Alex
      February 8 2017

      I know, I feel I’ve missed out on so many of the big “rockstar” parks but I do adore the ones I have been to! And while I am cheering over HB 621 being killed, I’m now turning my attention to HB 622! Setting my alarm every night to call DC…

  • Kristin
    February 8 2017

    LOVE this post! Our national parks are national treasures, and I love seeing everyone coming out in their defense!

    We absolutely LOVE Acadia – it’s a wonderful place to hike and explore, and in the fall, it’s an absolutely epic explosion of color.
    Kristin recently posted..11 Budget Ideas for Valentine’s Day

    • Alex
      February 8 2017

      Fingers crossed I make it there this summer!

  • Mary B
    February 9 2017

    Thanks for this, Alex!! I too was a bit late to the National Park game, but I am 100% on board with how important and amazing they are! We have to hold our representatives accountable and not let them be swayed by corporate interests. I especially appreciated your point about how the impacts of deregulation/land sales cross state boundaries. We often value individual/states rights over the greater good, and forget that we are all connected. Water, air, chemicals, pollutants – they don’t know state or country borders.
    Mary B recently posted..Finding Light in the Darkness of 2016

    • Alex
      February 9 2017

      Absolutely! I agree that in theory, the idea of states controlling some portions of federal public land sounds innocuous — it’s only when you do a big of digging that you understand why the idea has so little public support.

  • Marc
    February 21 2017

    We love going on trips to new National Parks. We hit the visitor center first thing. The rangers are always surprised by our kids with over 20 junior ranger pins. 🙂
    Marc recently posted..Jim Hammond – Alabama

    • Alex
      February 27 2017

      Aw, what cool kiddos! Sounds like they are lucky to have a travel loving Dad!

  • Nate
    March 6 2017

    Thanks for this Alex! This is really awesome – especially the photos.

    Cheers!

    • Alex
      March 20 2017

      Thanks Nate! I love me some National Parks!

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