I recently came across many articles about the national parks and became very intrigued about several of them. One of the articles that I found interesting was about the Great Smokies National Park. http://www.nps.gov/grsm/historyculture/stories.htm
The article talks about how much people overcame for this land to become a national park. There are a few sections of the article that seemed to stick out more than others. One section talked about the people who were most interested in creating this park, while another defined the difference between a national park and national forest. Many people were in a disagreement on whether to consider the land a national forest or national park. Finally, they decided to work together on creating this land to become a national park.
The two sections of the article that stuck out the most to me were:
“In a national park, however, the scenery and resources are protected, and nature is allowed to run its course. The ultimate decision to establish a national park meant that the scenery, resources, and some of the native architecture would be protected for all people to enjoy into the infinite future.”
“As a matter of past history and present interest, the park movement was directed not by the hardcore conservationists, backpackers, and trout fishermen, but motorists. The newly formed auto clubs, mostly branches of the AAA, were interested in good roads through beautiful scenery on which they could drive their shiny new cars.”
I put these two parts in red because I found them to be very contradicting. The first section defines a national park and the second tells who was behind the push for the land to become a national park. I could not believe that the people who wanted this land preserved were the same who had a hand in destroying it little by little. Just a few questions to ask ourselves: How can the scenery and resources be protected when there are thousands of cars putting off negative emissions? Is the Great Smokies National Park really being preserved? Is nature being allowed to run its’ course? There are many roads running through the Great Smoky Mountains. It is hard to justify if any national park is truly preserved. I believe it is safe to say that national parks are protected more than preserved. In a national park there is native artifacts and architecture that are protected, as well as the land, but the healthiness of the land could be in question.
The creation of the Great Smokies National Park was not an easy task to accomplish. Many people gave up all they had for this to happen, but not because they wanted too. Does this sound familiar? Just think about Native Americans, were they not forced off of their home land? I do not want it to seem like I am totally comparing these issues because I know the Native Americans had a more traumatic experience, but I was just bringing it to one’s attention that this has occurred more than once in U.S. history. I also would like to add that I think the creation of national parks has been one of America’s best ideas, like Ken Burn’s film. My goal with this article is to inform people of how much trouble we will go through to protect something, but at the same time seem to have a hand in harming it. The United States has millions of acres protected because they are national parks. The United Sates also has millions of machines, factories, and people that contradict this act of “protection”. My wish is that people would just become more aware of the situation at hand of keeping our environment healthy so our children’s children can enjoy it like we have.