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National And State Parks At The Crossroads

State and national parks in trouble. We’ll look at what’s ahead for camping, canoeing and the great outdoors.

National and state parks are some of the most recognized public spaces in the country, but many of them are in trouble. (AP)

National and state parks are some of the most recognized public spaces in the country, but many of them are in trouble. (AP)

It’s a rough economy summer. And for a lot of Americans that will mean the best vacation is some simple communing with the great outdoors.

Throw the tent in the trunk. Grab some hot dogs and marshmallows. Take the family camping, swimming, out on a picnic, a hike.

Cheap, simple, beautiful.

Except for this: in many states, state parks -– a big destination for those days in nature -– are under the budget axe. California is closing 70.

We’ve got cutbacks and padlocks. And the national parks are feeling the strain, too.

This hour On Point: summer, and the future of our great park system.

- Tom Ashbrook

Guests:

Thomas  Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association. He is the former president of the Audubon Society of New Hampshire.

Carolyn Finney, geographer and assistant professor in the department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California-Berkeley.

Philip McKnelly, executive director of the National Association of State Park Directors. He is the former superintendent for State Parks in North Carolina.

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