Happy 98th Birthday to the National Park Service.
I would like to take this moment to bring attention to my favorite United States Federal Agency. These photos were taken at the Snake River Overlook, which is where Ansel Adams took one of his most famous photographs titled The Tetons and The Snake River. His photo was taken as part of The Mural Project for the Department of the Interior between 1941-1942. I cannot even begin to pretend that my pictures match up, but I took it on my recent trip through the Jackson valley.
The NPS oversees 401 units: 23 national scenic and historic trails, 58 wild and scenic rivers, and 59 designated National Parks. The full acreage of the NPS jurisdiction is approximately 84 million acres. Their budget is a little over 3 million dollars, and the visitor count for all of the properties in the system is over 300 million people.
Remember to think of lands throughout this country that are protected, and the reasons for which they are given their importance. Protected lands don't singularly include the vast mountain areas of the west. They include the U.S.S. Arizona memorial honoring the fallen soldiers during the attack on Pearl Harbor. They include water resources that rest on the Minnesota-Canadian border. They include Caves in Alabama, Pueblos in New Mexico, and parts of the gulf coastal region of Louisiana. They include gifts such as the Statute of Liberty, and neighborhoods such as the one the Wright brothers occupied in Ohio. We have protected Battlefields such as Little Bighorn, Gettysburg, and Omaha beach in Normandy, France. We have protected geological gems such as volcanos in Hawaii and Oregon. We have protected many areas of the United States. Some are thought of as remote while others house people and common businesses. These lands are protected to preserve our history as a country, and to ensure that all future generations will be able to see the wonders of the land that the United States rests upon. We are a beautiful nation. Get out there and get lost.