Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park
Maps unlock the world in front of us...even if we're not standing right in front of the landscape contained on the map we're gazing at. They allow us to wander through the landscape, cross mountains, ford rivers and streams, and envision campsites in the backcountry. And, in the case of a new eBook, they allow us to look into the past of some national park settings.
Though remotely located in the mountains of northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado, Dinosaur National Monument goes through days when the air quality is almost as bad as you'd find in major metropolitan areas.
“Running on empty” unfortunately is a very apt description of the Colorado River Basin, which long has had its water overcommitted. Today, the vast watershed that stretches from the mountains of Colorado to the Gulf of California and helps nourish some 30 million residents in the Southwest and Mexico is mired in a long-running drought that threatens to dramatically recast the already-arid region.
Unless things change, it will take centuries for many national parks to have truly clean air, according to the National Parks Conservation Association, which wants the Obama administration to close loopholes that stand in the way of improving air quality.