“Saving the spirit of these places is also essential”—overcrowding at America’s national parks
In 2016, more than 330 million people visited national parks across the United States, setting a record. In fact, the number of visitors is slightly more than the entire population of the country (of course, many of these visitors were from overseas). Encompassing more than 84 million acres, US national parks still cover approximately 3.5% of all land in the United States. If you imagine every US citizen packed into only 3.5% of the country’s land area, you can begin to see the problem. (In photo, visitors watching the sunrise at Haleakala National Park in Hawaii).
By Jim Robbins
Yale Environment 360
July 31, 2017