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An Excuse to Visit a National Park on Saturday: National Park Service Marks Its 96th Anniversary

Not bad for 96. National parks have their issues, as this Washington Post article points out, but like many of you, I'm really happy we have them around, maintenance backlogs and other challenges (outlined in a report by NBC News) included.

Aug. 25 (Saturday) marks the 96th anniversary of the Organic Act, signed in 1916 by President Woodrow Wilson to create the National Park Service. Today the NPS oversees 397 “units” of natural and historic importance, 58 of them classified as national parks.

I love the parks, plan to be in one this weekend, and am grateful for the rangers and the stewards who make them enjoyable places to visit, sometimes against tough odds. If possible this weekend, go, see, breathe, hike, hug, enjoy.

It’s nice to be a Facebook friend of national parks (you’ll spot some great photos on the pages, like the Grand Canyon example we’ve included below, and our latest tally of parks with the most FB fans is included just for fun), but it’s fantastic to experience one of them in person. Go see one.

Rank    Park 2011 visitors     Fans 7/27    Fans 8/24*
   1 Great Smoky Mountains        9,008,830     7,542
       8,786
   2 Grand Canyon    4,298,178     7,390
       9,227
   3 Yosemite    3,951,393   65,465
     71,191
   4 Yellowstone    3,394,326   39,861
     44,681
   5 Rocky Mountain    3,176,941     9.751
     10,783
   6 Olympic    2,966,502         ---            ---
   7 Zion    2,825,505     7,873
     10,451
   8 Grand Teton    2,587,437   15,382
     17,114
   9 Acadia    2,374,645   30,988
     32,725
 10 Cuyahoga Valley (Ohio)    2,161,185       526
         618
 11 Glacier    1,853,564 116,057    121,400
 12 Hot Springs (Ark.)    1,396,354        ---            ---
 13 Joshua Tree    1,396,237        ---            ---
 14 Hawaii Volcanoes    1,352,123    1,195
       1,276
 15 Bryce Canyon    1,296,000    7,058
       8,090
 16 Shenandoah    1,209,883    3,197
       4,813
 17 Arches    1,040,758  10,712
     12,248
 18 Mount Rainier    1,038,229    2,755
       3,235
 19 Sequoia    1,006,583    9,534
     10,732
 20 Haleakala       956,989    2,227
       2,629

* Fan numbers as of 1 p.m. PDT on July 27 and Aug. 24.

file

National Park Service photo.

Posted on at 1:00 PM

Tagged: national parks

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