National Parks

Has the park system grown too large to maintain?


National parks preserve some of the country's most spectacular resources and commemorate important events in U.S. history. The park system, which will turn 100 years old in 2016, receives about 280 million visitors each year. National parks represent a uniquely American idea: preserving special places for everyone to enjoy. But park managers and advocates say the system is underfunded and straining to maintain lodges, trails and other facilities. Critics in Congress argue that the park system has grown too big and expensive. They want to reallocate money from smaller, less-popular sites to larger, more famous ones and stop adding to the park system. Park advocates say the system must grow so it can encompass many kinds of places — including more urban and historic sites ...

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