Reader Participation Day: What Should The National Park Service Work On Leading Up To 2016?

It's National Park Week, a time to celebrate the national parks and get out and enjoy them. But it should also be a time for you to ponder the future of the National Park System. With that in mind, what do you think the National Park Service should focus on leading up to its centennial in 2016?

There certainly are enough issues out there to consider when trying to draw up a hierarchy for the Park Service to deal with.

* A recent report says the Park Service has not lived up to its mission of explaining history in the parks, and there are concerns in some quarters that the agency is more concerned about wildlife than people.

* Some say there are too many law enforcement rangers, and not enough interpretive rangers.
* There's the question of whether more units should be added to the park system.

* Fees are an issue in some parks.

* Are there enough rangers in the parks?

The list can go on, and we hope you'll add to it. So tell us, what is the greatest issue the National Park Service should focus on during the next four years?

Comments

Hire me!

A contest to design a park sticker would be fun. Fees - how much do people pay for their child to be in hockey or dance lessons. It's easy to pay $5 for a latte at Starbucks and how much do people pay for their beer for the weekend. At any rate - I think the national parks do a fantastic job. The fees alone do not prevent enjoyment of the park. Compare the value to anything that we pay for that is not a need but a want. I've been trying to plan a vacation this summer that doesn't break the bank. The expensive things are gas, accomodations, food, tourist trap spots and so on. In comparison, $20 lets me into somewhere like Rocky Mountain National Park for a week. That's a steal. I don't mind helping pay for what I am visiting.

So, anonymous, a $20 annual subscription to the Traveler wouldn't be out of line....?;-)

Completely fair question Kurt. I have payed voluntarily for news sites that have solid content. If you are on the inside why do you think one should pay for a subscription? Why does this website rock,what does it offer over other websites. A good spot to advertise is right at the end of the article/posting and between the comments and possibly when someone makes a comment, a message tells them that their comment will be reviewed, thank them for being a reader and suggesting that they help fund the work of NPT. Sorry, a bit off topic. (:

Anonymous, I'll allow a little straying to explore this aspect.

There long has arisen in many minds a belief that "if it's on the Internet, it should be free." Why should content on the 'net be different than that in a magazine, newspaper, or book? Just like the folks at Starbucks have to roast the coffee beans, grind them, and brew them before they pour it into the cup, at the Traveler we have to assemble content, write it, edit it, and present it.

We believe we put out a great product in terms of offering readers a daily snapshot of what's going on in the national parks, from news and commentary to travel content and the professor's incredible puzzlers. Best we can tell, there's no other site on the web that presents this variety of information in one spot with fresh content every day of the year.
If the Traveler went dark tomorrow, how many other sites would you have to check to get this mix of content?

Until we get that message up on the comment bar, folks wishing to help the Traveler can donate via this site.

That's why we pay $5 for a coffee at Starbucks - I don't have it in for them, in fact I'm now craving something from there. Contrast it to a week of being able to come and go to something so rich and spectacular as our parks and some of the same people are saying it's expensive?
Use some of what you just said to inspire and remind people what you offer. I think you are a voice for something that can be underappreciated and does not make the news unless it's a park in one's region or a really contentious issue. Anonymous just gave you $20. (:

My check is in the mail. I visit this site a couple of times each day and really enjoy it. I'm sure there is a lot of work in making it such a great site. Probably leads to to much daydreaming though!!LOL

Anonymous, couldn't agree more, the parks are an incredible bargain!

Thanks Dick. It's greatly appreciated!