by Megan E. Jensen, Research Director
Posted March 20, 2020 in

With springtime quickly approaching, many families are preparing for summer road trips to America’s national parks. But instead of wide-open spaces, visitors may be greeted with long lines, full campgrounds and nowhere to park.

Outside of California’s Joshua Tree National Park, the line just to get in can stretch for 1.5 miles through the desert. Last year, visitors to Utah’s Zion National Park had to wait in line for two hours before beginning the popular hike to Angels Landing over Memorial Day Weekend. The good news is that Congress is currently working to address the problem by dedicating more funding to parks.

In 2019, over 327 million people visited the national park system, with many parks setting all-time records. Although visitation has been increasing for decades, placing a growing strain on park infrastructure, funding has not kept pace.

Read the op-ed in Morning Consult here.

Vast acres of trees killed by invasive bark-boring beetles. Photo Credit: Manti-La Sal National Forest