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Today, we’re thrilled to have Chris Mabey joining us. Chris is a huge advocate for our National Parks and has some great ideas to help us make the most of them. Make sure to read all the way to the end so you can see how you can make a difference too!
Do you remember your first visit to a National Park?
Yellowstone was the first park I went to. I was three years old and while I may not remember a lot from that first trip, I do remember a few things. There were huge bison and elk. Old Faithful shot high in the air, and I got my very own Yellowstone sheriff’s badge. This trip with my family was a great experience and made for lifelong memories.
In my childhood and teenage years I visited other parks such as Bryce Canyon and Arches with friends and family. One thing has stayed constant with all my National Parks visits – trips to the parks build incredible memories. Even now I am filled with childlike wonder as I visit the National Parks. As I visited Joshua Tree National Park three months ago, I felt like I had been transported to another world. The rock formations and Dr. Seuss like trees were just incredible.
Grand Teton National Park
Now I get to share my love of National Parks with my wife. We love exploring, hiking, and experiencing the wonder of the Parks. One of my passions is capturing beautiful images of them so we can look back on the beautiful places we’ve seen.
In the future I want to be able to take my kids to the National Parks, so I can share the same kind of experiences I’ve had with them.
The national parks should continue to be a treasured place that we can take future generations, but right now the parks are facing huge obstacles. Here are a few:
There is an $11 billion maintenance backlog.
In todays dollars the National Park Service budget has fallen by 15%.
Now due to sequestration, the parks have to cut another $110 million from an already inadequate budget.
Visitors centers and campgrounds are being closed at many parks this year.
If something is not done our children and grandchildren won’t be able to have the quality National Park experience that we have enjoyed.
I have read so many articles about how the Parks are struggling with budget cuts and now I want to show this to the world. Pictures will make the story reality instead of a bunch of numbers that do not have much meaning to most of us. To help tell the story of the National Parks I have launched a photography project called “The Best Idea We Ever Had”. This project has two purposes:
Show how the parks are being affected by budget cuts.
Show the beautiful scenery and wildlife that make the parks worth protecting for future generations.
Please consider backing “The Best Idea We Ever Had” on Kickstarter and please share this important story with those you know.
Thanks Chris, for sharing this with us. We’re HUGE fans of National Parks and are excited to help improve them in any way that we can. You can help out our National Parks, by backing his Kickstarter project here.