There is a balance that needs to be upheld when it comes to taking care of The Earth. Construction companies are well aware of the laws that surround the environment and how they benefit society as a whole. We need protected lands because if we didn’t have them then eventually we would destroy all of our natural resources. Many national parks have amazing resources and rock formations that can’t be found anywhere else on Earth. In Southern Utah, we are privileged to live so near to multiple state and national parks. Zion’s, Snow Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Goblin Valley, Grand Canyon, the list goes on. But every once in a while there are news articles about people who accidentally or intentionally damage monuments in national parks and even post about it on social media. Here are some ways that we can protect our parks on a local and federal level.
There are plenty of ways that people in their everyday life can protect their state parks. The biggest way is to visit them! The fee you pay to get into the park will help pay for maintenance and park rangers that help protect the park. Taking your friends and family to these parks and fostering a love for the next generation will create a sense of responsibility and love for the outdoors for years to come. When you do go to the parks, the most important thing is be aware of your own footprint. Don’t leave trash assuming other people will pick it up, don’t run off trails if you don’t know where you are going because you can damage the plant life and get lost. Be careful of wildlife and watch them from afar. Just be a respectful guest and you will have a great time while supporting nature. If you ever do see something that could be dangerous or see others misbehaving, it is best to report to the park rangers right away instead of trying to take it into your own hands. Ask the scout leader who tipped over a rock in Goblin Valley Park because he thought it was unsafe.
You can also get involved with local policies that help state parks. Pay attention and vote for leaders the support your values and keep track of when they are voting on environmental policies that will benefit or harm the parks.
The federal government sells a national park pass that is $80 for the whole year and it includes every national park. While you might not be packing up for a road trip across the US, even if you visit 5 parks in a year it will pay for itself. Visiting national parks is easier than ever with the ability to see what the weather will be like the week you go, where you can stay, the best hikes and when it is the least crowded. The same rules apply for a state park as they do a national park: be respectful of your surroundings and you will have a great time.
Just like with state parks, voting on policies that help national parks will create a precedent for future generations that will also benefit from seeing these amazing rock formations for themselves. And if you haven’t seen some of the rare rock formations all around us, plan your next vacation to go see them, I promise you won’t regret it. National parks are a great part of our society that should be protected and preserved.