National Geographic : 1994 Oct
Geoguide BOTHBY MELISSAFARLOW * The graph at right shows the increasing number of visitors to U. S. national parks since 1950. About how many times more people visited parks in 1993 than in 1950? In what ways might a park suffer from a surge of visitors? What might explain why parks are more crowded now than they were 40 years ago? * How should parks deal with the growing crowds? Should the number of visitors be lim ited? If so, what would be a fair system? Or should more roads, hotels, and paved walkways be built to serve more and more citizens who want to see their parks? * The National Park Service oversees more than national parks. It is also responsible for monuments, park ways, memorials, recreation areas, trails, and various other facilities. The map on pages 31-32 shows these sites. How many differ ent geographic terms-such as mountain, sea- shore, and lake--can you find in the names of National Park Service sites? How many sites are shown in your state? * Chances are that at least one of the Park Service's nearly 370 facilities is close enough for you to visit in a day. On atour ofapark, ask one of the rangers what problems the facility faces. How can they be solved? What volunteer efforts could help maintain the site in top condition? * Yellowstone National Park, the nation's first, lies along the Continental Divide. In an atlas, find the mountain range that forms most of the Conti nental Divide in the U. S. and Canada. Depending on where it falls along the Continental Divide, a drop of rainwater eventually flows into one of four large bod ies of salt water-one of two gulfs, a bay, or an ocean. Which bodies of water are they? SANDSTONE FORMATIONS DWARF VISITORS AT ARCHES NATIONAL PARK IN UTAH (UPPER LEFT). TO REDUCE TRAFFIC AT YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, THE PARK SERVICE PROVIDES SHUTTLE BUSES-THEMSELVES OFTEN OVERCROWDED, AS ONE LITTLE GIRL (LEFT) DISCOVERS. THE GRAPH BELOW SHOWS THAT THE NUMBER OF VISITORS TO NATIONAL PARKS HAS BEEN STEADILY CLIMBING. Visitors to National 57 60 Parks 45.8 47 (in millions) RICHARDTHOMPSON USE THE GEOGUIDE PAGE ALONG WITH THE ARTICLE "OUR NATIONAL PARKS" IN THIS ISSUE TO HELP CAPTURE THE INTEREST OF YOUNG READERS AND STIMULATE DISCUSSION WITH THEM. GEOGUIDE IS FEATURED FOUR TIMES A YEAR.