on the cutting edge

Are We Loving Our National Parks a Little Too Much?

Americans love their national parks. Over 330 million recreational visits were made to parks across the country, making 2016 a record setting year. In California, several of the state's 28 national parks set attendance records in 2016, with Yosemite being the third most visited park nationwide. The visits are tracked by the National Park Service's Visitor User Statistics, which recorded at 7.72% increase in attendance from 2015.

All that love from park visitors can create a strain for park officials, whose mandate it is to  provide both the public with access to the nation's parks and protect natural and cultural resources.

"We know people have meaningful experiences in parks, but how do we maintain that excitement in ways that lead to more conversation buy-in?" asks Dr. Ryan Sharp, a professor of recreation management at Kansas State University.

Sharp consults with NPS officials on the best ways to balance the public's love of parks with the need to protect and preserve those parks. In this KCET slideshow, he offers his concerns and advice on how to not to love our parks to death.

 

(Slideshow created by Dennis Nishi)

Summer of the Environment small logo

This video is part of KCET and Link TV's “Summer of the Environment,” which offers a robust library of content on multiple platforms from June-August intended to ignite compassion and action for helping to save and heal our planet.

 

Upcoming Airdates

On The Cutting Edge

A look into cutting-edge environmental practices at a farm where soil is king; a visit to an incubator for green business entrepreneurs; and a hopeful discussion with a climate scientist.

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'Environmental Justice'

Exploring environmental justice with a dive into lead-contaminated communities; the effects of the Chiquita Canyon Landfill; and an interview with an African-American environmental leader.

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Balancing Act

In this episode, "Joshua Tree National Park" -- Are we loving our parks to death? The popularity of Joshua Tree area is bringing stress and damage to this beautiful park. "Frozen Garden" -- Can endangered plants be saved by freezing them? Can they survive super cold temperatures? Scientists at Huntington Gardens are hopeful. "Eco-Village Living" -- Can you live in harmony with nature in the middle of the city? A communal village in the middle of Koreatown has stood the test of time.

Source Image:  Alan Eng, some rights reserved

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Can L.A. County End Homelessness?

L.A. County voters approved a sales tax hike to fund services for the homeless. Can homelessness be solved? How will the money be spent? What are the real solutions to this crisis?

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