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For one or more National Parks in MEDC's, examine the challenges which have arisen as a result of the increased use of the area for recreation and tourism.

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Introduction

For one or more National Parks in MEDC's, examine the challenges which have arisen as a result of the increased use of the area for recreation and tourism. The idea of the National Park came from America, when Yellowstone was made the worlds first National Park in 1872. The purpose of this was to "conserve natural scenery, wildlife and historic sites and objects and to provide for public enjoyment of these areas." The idea spread throughout the world, including to Britain where in 1949 an act was passed creating 10 national parks. Britain at the time was suffering from overpopulation and urban sprawl, and this threatened its scenic areas, therefore they created the national park to:- * Conserve the beauty of sensitive environments from development which would otherwise spoil them. * To permit access to and encourage employment within the area. * To support local communities whose live and work within the National Park. With these aims in mind, Britain has since developed 12 National parks and other countries have followed the example, all adopting similar aims. However National parks have been faced with many challenges and still are today. Some of the most prominent challenges that face the National parks are these which arise from the concept of a place being "loved to death". When problems arise due to the tourism and recreation. It is these issues that I will be addressing in this essay. ...read more.

Middle

Not only does this cause problems and delays for the visitors themselves but also the local community, who may have their everyday life disrupted by delays and jams. Again this is difficult to manage, as new and larger roads may "spoil" the parks natural beauty and may be difficult to plan for, with planning laws within the parks. Along with traffic congestion comes the issue of pollution, with so many cars there is a lot o exhaust fumes being emitted into the environment. This may be damaging not only for the parks ecosystem but for the larger picture also. At Great Smoky Mountains, ozone pollution has violated federal health standards more than 175 times since 1998 and is damaging 30 species of plants. Again there is little that can be done about this by the management. However some parks have introduced "park and ride" schemes e.g. In Snowdonia, you can take the Sherpa bus, and to promote the usage of this you also get a free guided walk. Traffic pollution is not the only type that causes problems; the air pollution from human sources that plagues national parks comes primarily from burning fossil fuels-coal, oil, and gas. This is caused by power plants and industrial facilities as well as from cars, trucks, planes, trains, and construction equipment. There is also a problem with light pollution, stemming from urban settlements within or close to the parks. ...read more.

Conclusion

There is at least 45 kilometres of footpaths cross this area and they are used by over 80,000 walkers each year. Unfortunately, the Old Red Sandstone which forms much of the area is relatively soft and footpaths are easily eroded. This has caused dramatic changes in the last 50 years. Trampling damages the surface vegetation and eventually kills it. Other features suffer from erosion such as dry stone walls, which may collapse when climbed over too frequently. There are also positive challenges facing the National Parks. These occur when good things are brought to the park and these are a challenge to sustain. An example of this is in the Lake District, where water sports on the lakes has proved a huge hit and has brought many visitors and economic gains. However many of the locals complain of the noise and disruption, the management has to fight to keep both parties happy by coming up with a strategies to suit both. All the benefits of tourism that are brought to the park by tourism and recreation have to be sustained and kept as benefits and this within itself is a challenge for the management. The fact that national parks are an ever changing concept along with the ever changing landscape means that challenges are constantly arising and needing dealt with, it is up to the management to deal with these in a sensible way thus abiding to the original aims of the parks and keeping the parks an exciting place for people to visit. ...read more.

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