Protect the funding for our National Parks

Here’s my first blog post and plead for Congress to not cut funding to our National Parks.  Here’s a bit about me and why I think it’s important.

NPCA image
Sorry, parks closed

Click here for more information from the NPCA – National Park Conservation Association – about why I’m concerned.

I lead a split professional life.  The bulk of my time is spent working for a job website called CoolWorks.com.  The other chunk is spent on my hobby / side profession of being a photographer.  CoolWorks.com will be celebrating its 18th birthday this year, which means that kids born in 1995 can go get jobs in the National Parks.  They’ll pump gas, serve food, make beds, give tours, raft rivers, provide information, you name it, and they’ll gain valuable experience by working and living in the National Parks.  Their lives will never be the same.

Cool Works was founded on the idea that seasonal jobs changes lives, and for our part, we promote jobs in great places ™ like National Parks, ranches, camps, ski resorts, conservation corps, farm and garden jobs, and more.  Our founder, Bill Berg, spent a few summers in Yellowstone while in college, and after a variety of other life experiences, he learned about this thing called the Internet, came up with the idea for CoolWorks.com and the rest is history.

As for me personally, I’ve been a full time employee with Cool Works since 2007, after working in the cruise industry for 11 years, where I utilized Cool Works to find driver/guides and other seasonal employees to work in Alaska.  In both capacities, I have been a voice for the seasonal worker.  I hear their dreams, their aspirations and more practically, I hear about their needs for these jobs.  Closing National Parks or reducing services will be devastating to many of my seasonal friends and the job seekers who utilize Cool Works.  Plans for travel to and from these jobs are being made now.  I would hate it if opportunities full of so much promise and excitement get shut down because Washington’s priorities are so short-sighted.

What you can do

  • Learn more. NPCA’s website has a trove of related information, including public sentiment around keeping parks funded, a fact sheet with more detail on how the sequester could impact parks, and an interactive slideshow on popular parks around the country threatened by funding cuts.
  • Let your elected officials know the parks matter to you. If you haven’t already, send President Obama and your members of Congress the message that we can’t shortchange our national parks.
  • Your donation helps protect the parks. Your tax-deductible gift now supports NPCA’s critical work to protect and restore funding for our parks, and all of our park protection efforts.
  • You Oughtta Be in Pictures.  Submit your photos to the NPCA – details here – to help the NPCA advocate on the Parks behalf.  They’re looking for images of you having fun in your parks like these below taken on our National Park road trip in August 2012 where we visited Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Arches, Mesa Verde, Lake Powell, Zion, Yosemite and Redwood National Parks.
Kari and Oliver with Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
Old Faithful Erupting in Yellowstone
Richard and Kari in Mesa Verde National Park
August 2012
Kari at Mammoth Hot Springs

The National Parks matter.  Not only are they awesome places to see nature and wildlife and unique features of this planet of ours, they also provide thousands of jobs for Americans.  They boost the economy of surrounding cities and towns.  They bring visitors from all over the world to experience their wonders.  Please write your Congressional representative, the President, join NPCA, share your pics, and tell your stories.  Don’t let funding be taken from the National Parks.  They’re too important.

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