What is National Park? National Parks History. List of National Parks in USA

What are the National Parks?

IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, helps the world find pragmatic solutions to our most pressing environment and development challenges.
In 1969 the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) declared a national park to be a relatively large area with particular defining characteristics.

A national park was deemed to be a place where:

  • one or several ecosystems are not materially altered by human exploitation and occupation, where plant and animal species, geomorphological sites and habitats are of special scientific, educative and recreative interest or which contain a natural landscape of great beauty.
  • the highest competent authority of the country has taken steps to prevent or eliminate as soon as possible exploitation or occupation in the whole area and to enforce effectively the respect of ecological, geomorphological or aesthetic features which have led to its establishment.
  • visitors are allowed to enter, under special conditions, for inspirational, educative, cultural and recreation purposes.

In 1971 these criteria were further expanded upon leading to more clear and defined benchmarks to evaluate a national park. These include:

  • a minimum size of 1,000 hectares within zones in which protection of nature takes precedence
  • statutory legal protection
  • a budget and staff sufficient to provide sufficient effective protection
  • prohibition of exploitation of natural resources (including the development of dams) qualified by such activities as sport, fishing, the need for management, facilities, etc.

Watch a preview of The National Parks: America’s Best Idea

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Filmmaker Ken Burns and his longtime colleague Dayton Duncan take us on a behind the scenes tour of their new PBS series, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea. The team explains why they chose the parks as their subject, as well as describing their five-year journey through research, scripting, filming and editing the series. Their story is illustrated by rare footage of the film crew at work shooting in the parks, as well as excerpts from the finished film.

PBS Previews: The National Parks

Filmed over the course of more than six years at some of nature’s most spectacular locales — from Acadia to Yosemite, Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, the Everglades of Florida to the Gates of the Arctic in Alaska — The National Parks: America’s Best Idea is nonetheless a story of people: people from every conceivable background — rich and poor; famous and unknown; soldiers and scientists; natives and newcomers; idealists, artists and entrepreneurs; people who were willing to devote themselves to saving some precious portion of the land they loved, and in doing so reminded their fellow citizens of the full meaning of democracy. It is a story full of struggle and conflict, high ideals and crass opportunism, stirring adventure and enduring inspiration – set against the most breathtaking backdrops imaginable.



National Parks History

In 1810, the English poet William Wordsworth described the Lake District as a "sort of national property in which every man has a right and interest who has an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy". The painter George Catlin, in his travels through the American West, wrote in 1832 that the Native Americans in the United States might be preserved "by some great protecting policy of government . . . in a magnificent park . . . A nation’s park, containing man and beast, in all the wild and freshness of their nature’s beauty!" Similar ideas were expressed in other countries—in Sweden, for instance, the Finnish-born Baron Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld made such a proposition in 1880.

The Scottish-American naturalist John Muir was inspirational in the foundation of national parks, anticipating many ideas of conservationism, environmentalism, and the animal rights movement.

The first effort by any government to set aside such protected lands was in the United States, on April 20, 1832, when President Andrew Jackson signed legislation to set aside four sections of land around what is now Hot Springs, Arkansas to protect the natural, thermal springs and adjoining mountainsides for the future disposal of the US government. It was known as the Hot Springs Reservation. However no legal authority was established and federal control of the area was not clearly established until 1877.

The next effort by any government to set aside such protected lands was, again, in the United States, when President Abraham Lincoln signed an Act of Congress on June 30, 1864, ceding the Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (later becoming the Yosemite National Park) to the state of :

The said State shall accept this grant upon the express conditions that the premises shall be held for public use, resort, and recreation; shall be inalienable for all time.

In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established as arguably the world’s first truly national park. When news of the natural wonders of the Yellowstone were first promulgated, the land was part of a federally governed territory. Unlike Yosemite, there was no state government that could assume stewardship of the land, so the federal government took on direct responsibility for the park, a process formally completed in October 1, 1890—the official first National park of the United States. It took the combined effort and interest of conservationists, politicians and especially businesses—namely, the Northern Pacific Railroad, whose route through Montana would greatly benefit by the creation of this new tourist attraction—to ensure the passage of that landmark enabling legislation by the United States Congress to create Yellowstone National Park. Theodore Roosevelt, already an active campaigner and so influential as good stump speakers were highly necessary in the pre-telecommunications era, was highly influential in convincing fellow Republicans and big business to back the bill.

Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, USA.

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The "dean of western writers", American Pulitzer prize-winning author Wallace Stegner, has written that national parks are ‘America’s best idea,’—a departure from the royal preserves that Old World sovereigns enjoyed for themselves—inherently democratic, open to all, "they reflect us at our best, not our worst." Even with the creation of Yellowstone, Yosemite, and nearly 37 other national parks and monuments, another 44 years passed before an agency was created in the United States to administer these units in a comprehensive way — the U.S.National Park Service (NPS). Businessman Stephen Mather and his journalist partner Robert Sterling Yard pushed hardest for the creation of the NPS, writing then-Secretary of the Interior Franklin Knight Lane about such a need and spearheading a large publicity campaign for their movement. Lane invited Mather to come to Washington, DC to work with him to draft and see passage of the NPS Organic Act, which was approved by Congress and signed into law on August 25, 1916. Of the 391 sites managed by the National Park Service of the United States, only 58 carry the designation of National Park.


Following the idea established in Yellowstone there soon followed parks in other nations. In Australia, the Royal National Park was established just south of Sydney in 1879. Rocky Mountain National Park became Canada’s first national park in 1885. New Zealand had its first national park in 1887.

In Europe the first national parks were a set of nine parks in in 1909; Europe has some 370 national parks as of this writing. In 1926, the government of South Africa designated Kruger National Park as the nation’s first national park. After, national parks were founded all over the world. The Vanoise National Park in the Alps was the first French national park, created in 1963 after public mobilization against a touristic project.


List of United States National Parks by State

This is a list of United States National Parks by state. Some states lack a national park; others have many. Two territories have national parks, and are included on this list. Some parks encompass land in more than one state and are listed more than once. Parks vary greatly in size, but the largest are generally in the West and Alaska, where large blocks of undeveloped and government-owned land existed.

State National Parks Year Created Area (mi²) Area (km²)
Alaska Denali 1917 9,492 24,585
Alaska Gates of the Arctic 1980 13,238 39,460
Alaska Glacier Bay 1980 5,130 13,287
Alaska Katmai 1980 5,288 13,696
Alaska Kenai Fjords 1980 1,094 2,833
Alaska Kobuk Valley 1980 2,609 6,757
Alaska Lake Clark 1980 6,297 16,308
Alaska Wrangell – St Elias 1980 20,587 53,321
American Samoa American Samoa 1988 14 36
Arizona Grand Canyon 1919 1,902 4,927
Arizona Petrified Forest 1962 341 885
Arizona Saguaro 1994 143 370
Arkansas Hot Springs 1921 9 22
California Channel Islands 1980 390 1010
California Death Valley 1994 5,219 13,518
California Joshua Tree 1994 1,234 3,196
California Kings Canyon 1940 722 1,869
California Lassen Volcanic 1916 166 429
California Redwood 1968 176 455
California Sequoia 1890 631 1,635
California Yosemite 1890 1,189 3,081
Colorado Black Canyon of the Gunnison 1999 51 133
Colorado Great Sand Dunes 2004 133 343
Colorado Mesa Verde 1906 81 211
Colorado Rocky Mountain 1915 415 1,078
Florida Biscayne 1980 207 700
Florida Dry Tortugas 1992 101 262
Florida Everglades 1947 2,357 6,105
Hawaii Haleakala 1916 46 118
Hawaii Hawaii Volcanoes 1916 505 1,309
Idaho Yellowstone 1872 3,470 8,980
Kentucky Mammoth Cave 1941 83 214
Maine Acadia 1919 47 123
Michigan Isle Royale 1940 894 2,314
Minnesota Voyageurs 1975 341 882
Montana Glacier 1910 1,584 4,101
Montana Yellowstone 1872 3,470 8,980
Nevada Death Valley 1994 5,219 13,518
Nevada Great Basin 1986 120 312
New Mexico Carlsbad Caverns 1930 73.07 189
North Carolina Great Smoky Mountains 1934 814 2,108
North Dakota Theodore Roosevelt 1978 110 285
Ohio Cuyahoga Valley 2000 51 134
Oregon Crater Lake 1902 286 741
South Carolina Congaree 2003 33 88
South Dakota Badlands 1978 379 982
South Dakota Wind Cave 1903 44 114
Tennessee Great Smoky Mountains 1934 814 2,108
Texas Big Bend 1944 1,252 3,242
Texas Guadalupe Mountains 1966 135 350
U.S. Virgin Islands Virgin Islands 1956 23 59
Utah Arches 1971 119 309
Utah Bryce Canyon 1928 56 145
Utah Capitol Reef 1971 378 979
Utah Canyonlands 1964 527 1,366
Utah Zion 1919 229 593
Virginia Shenandoah 1935 311 805
Washington Mount Rainier 1899 368 954
Washington North Cascades 1968 789 2045
Washington Olympic 1938 1,442 3,734
Wyoming Grand Teton 1929 484 1,255
Wyoming Yellowstone 1872 3,470 8,980

PBS brings you a preview of the newest Ken Burns documentary series,

The 12-hour, six-part documentary series, directed by Burns and co-produced with his longtime colleague, Dayton Duncan, who also wrote the script, is the story of an idea as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence and just as radical: that the most special places in the nation should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone.

Only on PBS.

Manage Social Media, Social Networking and New Media

Online revolution is often referred to as “Web 2.0”, “New Media”, “we media” or “social media.” While much of this “user-generated content” is being created by young people who’ve grown up surrounded by digital tools, they certainly don’t have a monopoly on the concept.
According to the Pew Internet Project, approximately 48 million Americans have posted content to the Internet, from family photos to blogs to YouTube videos.  And it’s not just the well-off or well-educated that are doing it.

High-speed Internet access has become more affordable, while digital production tools are easier to use than ever before. New platforms allowing people to post content online using telephones have opened up user-generated content to an even larger audience.  This has translated into a democratization of online content. The Pew research even suggests that lower-income users and people with limited education posting content online in numbers on par with their well-off, better educated peers.
As social media has become ubiquitous, it’s also begun to make some professional content producers nervous. User-generated content is generally of lower production quality than professional content, and is sometimes anonymous or of questionable value. One only needs to spend a few minutes surfing around YouTube to get a sense of the wide range of quality, with much of it being on the lower end of the scale.
Having said that, quality content does rise to the top, usually through one of two methods. Some sites employ a gatekeeper model in which website managers review and vet content before it’s posted, preventing inappropriate content from appearing on the site. Others use a model in which the online community is given access to all content, rating and reviewing it so the best content rises to the top.

Managing User Generated Content

While the majority of people submitting content will have the best intentions, sometimes they may do things that should raise flags. In other cases, people might try to use this as an opportunity to air grievances or cause trouble, so it’s necessary to be on the lookout for content that’s inappropriate for public consumption.
First, there’s the question of who should be reviewing the content. At minimum, web site owner should have peronaly review materials and all post before publishing. Need to make sure that “auto post”, “post without moderations” turned off. No post should be published without moderatin.
It’s necessary to have someone with strong editorial judgment, who can identify the potential pitfalls of a given piece of user content, and pay attention to the details of the stories being shared.

For larger web site, whoever is tasked with reviewing the user content will probably need some assistance, whether from other staff or interns. In either case, these teams must be trained to recognize certain red flags, so user content is scrutinized appropriately before being published publicly.

Managing Different Media Types
Blos and forums owners migh be delaing with three different types of content from the public: audio, text and photos. Each of these media types have their own specific issues that should be discussed.

Audio types of content.
Since users will be submitting their audio over the phone, you shouldn’t expect the sound quality to be stellar. Having said that, there are ways you can help members of the public to submit audio that’s as useful as possible.
It’s recommended that you publish basic guidelines on your site, such as the following:
Use your home phone rather than a mobile phone, because the audio quality is better;
Try to find a quiet place to make the call;
Don’t play any music while you’re talking;
Avoid using obscenities in your story;
Please stick to stories about your own personal experiences during the war;
If you have multiple stories, please submit them separately;
If there’s a maximum time limit, be sure to inform users.

Text and photos types of content.
Along with looking out for the aforementioned concerns, you
should emphasize the importance of submitting original works rather than stories from other sources. The concern is that a user might take a war story or image they’ve found elsewhere and submit it. Even if they give appropriate credit to the author, there are serious copyright concerns, as you would have to get written permission from the owner of the material to republish it. With that being the case, you need to make it clear to users that they can only submit their own content, and under no circumstances should they copy and paste materials from other sources.

For text entries, you can always copy and paste sections of a particular submission into a search engine like Google to see if it’s been published online. Another useful tool is the search engine a9.com, which also allows you to search the text of books sold by Amazon.com. This functionality is particularly powerful since it can help you identify text that’s been lifted from published materials.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a photo search tool that allows you to search for identical copies of the same photo.
Once again, though, search engines can help. Yahoo.com, flickr.com, google.com and altavista.com, just to name a few, all allow you to conduct image searches. So if a person submits a photo supposedly from Berlin, you can search and see if it’s been copied off the Internet. Even searching for generic terms like “Classic Music” will show you a list of the most popular photos for this topic, and you can familiarize yourself with some of them to recognize possible copyright infringements.

Remember, there’s no way to prevent copyright infringement 100%. The key thing is for you to make a good-faith effort. If a copyright holder ever contacts you and claims their copyright has been violated, the best thing to do is to take the content down immediately until the issue can be resolved. Usually the act of taking it down will satisfy copyright holders.

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Introduction to Social Media. What is Social Media Networking?

Introduction to Social Media

Whether you’ve begun to experiment or remain on the sidelines, it’s a good time to learn more about what social media is, and whether it could be useful for you.

What social media is?

Social media is a set of tools that allows the audience create content and communicate among themselves. A few examples:
blogs, message boards or groups (like Google Groups or Yahoo Groups), commenting, ranking and sharing tools like you find on many news sites, blogs and operations like Digg social bookmarking and sharing tools like Delicious or Mixx user-generated content sites like YouTube and Flickr group instant messaging like Twitter live community chats, as standalones or complements to broadcasts platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn where people can create profiles, share content, create groups and interact in many other ways

What social media is not?
Social media is not content you, a public broadcaster, website or producer, create. (Blogs are a partial exception. See our blogging documents for more information on them.)
Some broadcasters and producers can have a hard time wrapping their brains around the idea of hosting, and publishing, content they don’t create. It’s likely to be lower quality than professionally produced material. It can confuse the audience. Why bother?

Why social media is scary?
Inviting people into a social environment you create is inherently risky. You can’t control what they say, about you or anybody else.
Of course you can screen for pornography, bad language, hate speech and so on. You can require people to sign in with an e-mail address or create a profile before contributing, to discourage anonymous attacks. You can pull down content that is obviously off-topic, purely commercial or libelous.
But if you try to edit (which is to say, censor) content beyond, that you’ll lose credibility. Even, or especially, if that content harshly criticizes a website, production or person involved, or expresses a fringe political opinion. If you’re going to host a public discussion, it may get messy.

So why bother to use social media?

Three main reasons:
Audience behavior is changing rapidly, and audiences increasingly expect a participatory media experience.
If they don’t get it from you, they’ll get it elsewhere. A portion of your audience will drift away. Truth is, that’s probably happening already.

Handled properly, social media can enhance traditional broadcasting with high-quality content no website or producer can create.
Pre-production, it can provide invaluable content and ideas. Post-broadcast, it can sustain a loyal audience that can feed new work.

Social media can foster public dialogue.
This is particularly true of, and important for, public media, whose audience is more educated and engaged in community life than most. Using social media can help you fulfill your public mission, to engage the public in public broadcasting.

Social media can build powerful links between people and websites, productions and content. At a time when audiences are fragmenting and media options multiply, social media can build a durable bond with your audience.

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