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NickDG

A Chink in the Armor . . .

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After years of mismanagement, too much hot dog stand development, exorbitant fees, and un-"friendly" Rangers the NPS is now blaming dwindling Park attendance on the X-box generation.

Regardless of their, "it's not out fault" attitude the meat of this article is in the last paragraph.

Like I've always said, it's only a matter of time . . .

NickD :)BASE 194

http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/content/news/stories/2006/12/24/12_24_Parks_Center_sidebar.html

>>Parks Struggle to Remain Relevant to Xbox Generation

by BOBBY MAGILL, The Daily Sentinel

Sunday, December 24, 2006

MONTROSE — Base jumping in Black Canyon?

Probably not, but the National Park Service is straining to be relevant to the Xbox and iPod generation, many of whom may consider camping and backpacking in national parks to be about as quaint as board games and corded telephones.

With declining attendance at national parks nationwide and a sharp drop in the number of people pitching tents there, the National Park Service is paying close attention to the changing tastes of a generation of "videophiles" who enjoy Nintendo over nature and extreme sports over backpacking trips.

"They're not out playing in the yards, they're not out riding bikes, they're not out in the national parks," Mesa Verde National Park Superintendent Larry Wiese said of kids affected with "nature deficit disorder" during a speech earlier this month. "We've seen a sharp drop in visitation, particularly from families."

"Videophilia" is an apparent decline in Americans' appreciation for nature, replaced by a tendency to focus on extreme sports and sedentary activities involving electronics, University of Illinois-Chicago conservation biologist Oliver Pergams showed in a study he published in July. The study illustrates how video games, the Internet and oil prices may be to blame for a 16-year decline in national park visits nationwide.

Vacation days haven't changed much since 1988, but hours spent playing video games and watching movies has increased, Pergams' study showed. While attendance at national parks declined, the number of people completing the Appalachian Trail tripled.

But as visitation to national parks nationwide has declined about 1 percent since 1999, some parks on the eastern Colorado Plateau are bucking that trend, according to National Park Service statistics.

At Mesa Verde National Park, the park's centennial celebration this year temporarily reversed a 10-year decline in visitation. At Arches and Canyonlands national parks, visitation has been increasing since 2004 following a sharp decline after visitation peaked in the late 1990s.

Visitors to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Dinosaur National Monument have been increasing slightly since 2001, but at Dinosaur, the number of visitors is still down by more than 32 percent since it peaked in 1993 when the movie "Jurassic Park" was released. 2004 was a busy year for Colorado National Monument, which saw its highest number of visitors that year in more than a decade.

Youth between ages 16 and 25 are the group least likely to visit a national park, said Jim Gramman, visiting National Park Service chief social scientist and a professor at Texas A&M University.

"Young people are not going to national parks because they're not as digitally modern as what they're used to experiencing in their home environment," he said.

National park visitors also tend to be white middle-class baby boomers, said National Park Service Intermountain Region spokeswoman Karen Breslin.

"That leaves a lot of people who aren't visiting parks," she said. "If that's true, what does that mean for the future? As the country becomes more diverse, what does it mean for young people if young people aren't coming to national parks?"

When kids are outside, many are bored because a hike isn't exciting enough to be an end unto itself, something that's particularly true among kids in urban areas, said Nina Roberts, assistant professor of recreation and leisure studies at San Francisco State University. "I think there's a waning interest in the outdoors."

Roberts cited a Stewardship Council survey of California youth and their parents that said 59 percent of the parents surveyed said their children are losing interest in the outdoors mostly because of television, computers and video games.

The National Park Service, she said, does a poor job making parks and the slices of the natural world protected in them relevant to urban kids who want to see how something like Delicate Arch is connected to their lives in the city.

"Without those connections, people will learn that these national parks exist, but the sense of meaning will not be there for them," Roberts said. "Without that connection, people will not want to support the parks in the future."

Urban youth are becoming less likely to have access to local parks and trail systems, which also means they're less likely to visit and understand the importance of national parks, said Outdoor Industry Association President Frank Hugelmeyer.

Wiese urged parents to take kids to as many national parks as possible so they'll be inspired to preserve and protect the parks, where they'll be able to "learn and refresh their souls."

So the National Park Service is trying to market itself to a generation whose interest in national parks may be less than enthusiastic, or at least changing. That means park information should be available at visitor centers as iPod downloads, and the park service may start more minority outreach programs and create online virtual visitor centers.

A cyberspace tour of dinosaur bones is now on Dinosaur National Monument's Web site, the only place tourists can go to see the park's Dinosaur Quarry since park officials closed it because the building housing the fossils is about to collapse.

In many eastern historical parks and sites, particularly those related to the Civil War, the National Park Service will be telling more stories about how African Americans were affected by the events that happened there, Gramman said.

With total overnight stays at national parks declining about 25 percent and backcountry camping declining nearly 30 percent since 1993, according to National Park Service data, promoting sports like trail running as ways to improve health and fitness could be one way the National Park Service may lure more young people to national parks, he said.

Park officials may also be less likely to brush off requests for some extreme sports. "We have requests for permits for BASE jumping in Black Canyon," said Bill Wellman, who served as superintendent of Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area until mid-November. "In the past, we would just have said no. We may still say no. But this time, we'll consider why we're saying no."

Bobby Magill can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]<<

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Who cares?

Fewer people in NPs means fewer rangers and more safe bandit jumps.

Nick's right. It's only a matter of time because the pure bred BASE jumper wins either way.

The only loser is the MTV kid who wants to show his buddies how cool he is but can't risk the prison sex that accompanies a stay at the gray bar motel. $hit...we knew you were a loser from the getgo. Victory is ours. Not given to us but yet again stolen. Renegades can't ultimately lose because nature loves purity.

Lick my love pump, bitches.
$kin
There's only one Tom Aiello...

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How might somebody go about requesting a permit to jump there? Maybe if they see more permit requests coming in, they'll think a little bit harder?

Can I submit one with my iPod or through Xbox live? :S
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"Hey, these cookies don't taste anything like girl scouts..."

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How might somebody go about requesting a permit to jump there? Maybe if they see more permit requests coming in, they'll think a little bit harder?


Their number is 970-641-2337 and you'll have to ask for a "special use permit". It's a $50.00 application fee.

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Ya what he said. " Fewer people in NPs means less money and fewer rangers and more safe bandit jumps."
except, The usual pattern of agencies or gov. bureaucracy that is Sucking the Public Tit. Is to Hire More new employees in staff. Then when the cut-back in funding occur and a few layoffs. There jobs positions are secure. The usual Gov. bullshit that is never ending. I would not get your hopes up to fast for better NPS.
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they got the wrong kinds of bars in those jail.

funny that in the land of the free we have to travel half way around the world to anywhere else to enjoy the outdoors with our sport.

as space calls it, the united police states of america.
Looks like a death sandwich without the bread - Steve Deadman Morrell, BASE 174

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Great! If they want to increase attendance, then they should consider legalizing BASE in parks. If possible, have designated, safe spectator locations at the exit points and landing areas. Who wouldn't want to watch us jump.

Just for god's sake, please don't land on the spectators.

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