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Retro Travel Posters Show a Scary (Possible) Future for our National Parks

As the National Parks Service prepares to celebrate its 100th birthday, advocates warn of nine #ParksInPeril

via npca // facebook

Next year marks the centennial birthday of the National Parks Service, the government agency responsible for America’s parks, monuments, and various conservation sites. It’s an auspicious occasion for which the government is already beginning to celebrate, having earlier announced that all fourth graders—and their families—would be given free admission to the National Park system for the entire year. But as the service concludes its first hundred years of operations, one organization has already begun looking ahead to the next century of U.S. National Parks; What they see, however, isn’t necessarily cause for celebration.


Since its founding in 1919, the National Parks Conservation Association has been around nearly as long as the National Parks Service. It describes itself as “the independent, nonpartisan advocate for America's national parks.” This week, the Association launched #ParksInPeril, an initiative designed to call attention to a series of developments slated to take place just outside nine national parks which, the organizations claims, would permanently destroy the various sites’ natural vistas.

They write:

The crown jewels of our National Park System are at a crossroads. And it is up to each of us to determine which path they take. Decisions made now about development just outside their borders could forever change these incredible places. The Obama Administration has an opportunity to ensure outside interests do not forever mar our national parks.

To help illustrate their point, the Association has created a series of nine retro travel posters. But, rather than entice potential vacationers, the designs offer a glimpse of what the National Parks might look like after development deals are put in place just outside their borders.

There’s Arches National Park, at risk from oil and drilling operations just outside the park boundary:

via npca / facebook

Grand Canyon National Park, the south rim of which could soon play host to a huge commercial construction project.

via npca // facebook

Even our view of iconic Yosemite National Park is at risk, warns the Association, of turning hazy.

via npca // facebook

Beyond simply highlighting the potential future for these national treasure, the Association offers a template for inspired activists to use to reach out to the Obama Administration in the hopes they will act on nine specific recommendations to protect the parks from proximal interference.

The full set of #ParksInPeril travel posters can be found on the National Parks Conservation Association website, along with details regarding the specific threats each of the sites face.

Here’s hoping for another hundred years of beautiful national parkland.

[via NPCA]

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