Searching the internet, these sites gave the following information.

Now, here are 10 problems that our national parks are facing, in no particular order. I gathered much of my information from 10 Top Problems with National Parks, as well as a few other sources included in hyperlinks throughout the article.1. Waste Management   2. Air Pollution   3. Things Are Getting Old   4. Wildlife Trouble   5. Invasive Species*   6. Climate Change   7. Water Shortages   8. Tourist Attraction: Too Much and Not Enough   9. Budget Problems   10. Energy Re:  

10 Problems Our National Parks Are Facing ( 

The National Park Service currently manages 423 sites, with 15 percent of them — or 63 — classified as national parks. Altogether, the agency controls more than 85 million acres in all 50 states; Washington, D.C.; and U.S. territories, a mass of land that’s more than twice the size of Florida. There’s no doubt about it: Americans love their national parks. So much so, that grassroots U.S. national park advocacy groups are often trying to build upon “America’s best idea” by giving more spaces this designation.

 But growing pains in some of the newest parks show the National Park Service’s crown-jewel status isn’t flawless. More visitors mean more money for local communities—so isn’t that a good thing?  It can be. It can also leave local communities behind.

For the first time in its history, Indiana Dunes National Park will require entrance fees beginning March 31, 2022. These fees—including rates of $15 per person (maximum of $25 per family), or $45 for an annual pass—will fund maintenance and new projects. This includes trails, parking, transportation, and visitor services, which are all increasingly important with growing crowds, the NPS says. 

While a flurry of new national parks would protect natural resources, some argue it won’t solve another issue plaguing existing national parks: crowds. New parks don't automatically break up existing crowds in other destinations.  Litter, human feces, and the widening of social trails (unofficial trails created via erosion from foot traffic) are among the many byproducts of recent increased visitor numbers. 

Longtime Indiana resident and community organizer Samuel Love, who lives near the park in Gary, Indiana, worries this move will price out the very people who rely on Indiana Dunes recreation most: local residents.According to Love, the communities bookending the park include low and high-income housing, with much more racial diversity than other communities in the region. He sees the park’s national park designation as “more of a negative” because of the increasing property values and decrease in affordable housing near the park. Plus, he said the new entry fees create a major barrier lower income and working-class people.“The decision makers clearly don't want those people in the park,” Love says, noting a nearly $50 expense (for the annual pass) isn’t feasible for many in the area. “And in the case of communities like Gary and Michigan City, it's literally our government telling citizens they're no longer welcome to recreate in something that is in their own neighborhoods.” As Indiana Dunes shows, national park status comes with its fair share of faults, particularly for local communities. 

And unprecedented visitation in 2021—Great Smoky Mountains National Park alone reached 14 million guests, a 57 percent increase in the past decade—means these problems won’t simply go away on their own. 

That’s why, instead of creating new parks, some experts suggest allocating the national park budget to manage visitation at existing, crowd-throttled parks. This could be new shuttle systems to ease car traffic, building new campgrounds to disperse visitors, or hiring more staff, according to an article on The Land Desk. Yu-Fai Leung, a professor of parks, recreation, and tourism management at North Carolina State University, agrees with prioritizing existing parks. “Using funds to improve visitor management, maintain facility conditions, and protect resources would help ensure the right balance between conservation and use of these existing national parks, especially those that contain sensitive resources or suffer from overuse,” he said. 

What’s more, national park budgets fluctuate by administrations, Leung says. Some administrations may boost the overarching NPS budget, but others slash it, leading to extensive maintenance backlogs that make these parks feel like an afterthought—rather than America’s best idea.Re: STEPHANIE VERMILLION,

Is National Park Status Always a Good Thing? | Condé Nast Traveler ( 

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