NPCA National Parks Survey
This is even more exciting than my jam packed junk email bundle from AAA. I recently received this bulky letter in the mail. It included a survey, (detailed below,) 24 return address labels, a letter alerting me that our national parks are in dire straits, an npca.org sticker, and a flyer detailing the hat I’d receive for a donation of $15.
All this courtesy of the National Park Conservation Association.
But first let me be clear that I’m not writing this in jest. Unlike the AAA mailer, this packet contains some useful info which would do us well to acknowledge. I’m not familiar with the NPCA, their motives or profit status, but any organization that brings attention to one of our nation’s most important resources is OK by me. I completed and sent back this survey, even though I suspect may not be aggregated into anything too useful because its just a call to action to get their name into more households and drum up donations. But again I’m OK with that – as they seem like a pretty cool organization. I’m sharing my answers, so let’s get started!
1. Have you visited a national park withing the past two years. If yes which one.
Yes. Mesa Verde, Arches, and Rocky Mountain National Park. Oh and Death Valley briefly.
2. I value our national parks for their (please check all that apply)
educational or recreational opportunities
All – but at different times. I’m not a huge history buff but Mesa Verde is truly amazing in that respect. For me I’d say recreational mostly.
3. When you look 25 years into the future, do you think the condition of our national parks will be the same as today, better, or worse.
- I have no idea. Depends on what we consider environmental and budget priorities.
4. How important is it to you that your children and grandchildren have an opportunity to enjoy our national parks in the future.
-Uh, extremely important? I’d hope we all agree on this.
5. Congress and the Bush administration have not been able to fund our national parks to the extend that is needed. What alternative forms of funding would you accept to protect the national parks?
A voluntary contribution via my income tax return
Special funding bill before Congress
Voluntary contributions, solicited inside the parks
- hmm. Not that I’m a fan of the Bush admin, but no need to be politically divisive for that reason alone. I’d be happy with more funding from congress via taxes, whether voluntary or not.
6. Serious budget shortfalls have resulted in reductions in park staff, including national park rangers. During the busiest times of the year, some park visitors may never see a park ranger at all! How important do you think park rangers are to the experience that visitors have in national parks.
– I’d go with somewhat. If I’m an experienced outdoors person and know where I’m going to hike, fish, or whatever, I don’t need a guide. Heavily touristed parks however might be a different story. You want park rangers educating Joe Eastern Seaboard on altitude sickness, hiking lengths, etc. After all look what happened when the Brady Bunch went to the Grand Canyon!
7. Would you be willing to park your car and use mass transit – light rail, environmentally-friendly bus – if it kept a park cleaner and eased the burden of overcrowding?
Yes or No
- Yes. Provided the transit matched or improved the efficiency of a personal auto. This is VERY difficult to do, especially out west in the large open spaces, and can’t be done at an inexpensive cost. (Spoken from someone who supports and uses city transit on a regular basis.)
8. The air quality in Great Smoky Mountains, Sequoia/Kings Canyon, and other national parks has diminished to the point where on some days it can be dangerous for humans to breathe, and visitors may be greeted by signs advising them against hiking if the have respiratory problems. Should companies be required to clean up the air pollution they generate that affect the air inside national parks?
- Which companies are these and why/what pollution are they generating? Of course the answer SHOULD be yes – but if a factory adjacent to a national park is spewing out smoke, and the clean-up costs of that factor increase to the point where they need to layoff workers it certainly puts another factor into perspective.
9. Thirteen national park sites are open to drilling for oil and gas, bringing oil rigs and trucks into areas like Poudre Isle National Seashore, Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve. Do you think private companies should be entitled to extract resources from our national parks for their own profit?
Yes or No
10. The park Service is debating whether to continue to allow the use of snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles in some parks. Motorized misuse can keep visitors from enjoying the peace and natural sounds of the parks, cause air and water pollution, frighten park wildlife, and destroy the land. What do you believe?
Snowmobiles and ATVs should be banned
Snowmobiles and ATVs should be limited
Snowmobiles and ATVs should not be banned or limited.
Wow that sure is a leading question.
I don’t like ATVs. Personally I believe they’re loud, noisy, and dangerous. I wouldn’t let my kids ride them. But some people DO like the ATV/snowrider experience. Also ATV sales and rentals provide jobs to people in Wyoming. Again, the west is a big place. There’s room to share.
I’d say limited and make the routes signed so people know what to expect. But it sounds like the NPCA already has made up their mind on this.