Sunday, July 16, 2006

U.S. National Parks

U.S. National Parks attendance down; electronic media responsible

Are US National Parks and nature conservation heading into trouble?

A study in the Journal of Environmental Management found that increasing attractiveness of electronic media has the potential of a serious threat to U.S. National Parks tourism.

Between the 1930s until 1987 the number of park visits by Americans increased gradually. The peak was reached with an average of 1.2 visits per person and year. Over the following 16 years these numbers declined by 25% which prompted scientist to find out why.

The result: Nearly all of that slump could be credited to growing time Americans spend watching movies, videos, browsing the web, playing video games. And last but not least the high price of gas.

The concern is now that this drift towards deskbound activities has a negative impact on conservation of nature. When people spend less time in nature they are likely to be less interested in conservation.

And now…. Shut down your PC and get out! Take a hike. Climb a mountain. Paddle that river. ;-)

Source: Washington Post, Journal of Environmental Management
US National Parks

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