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National Park - Research Paper Example

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An Introduction to the Grand Canyon National Park Introduction Grand Canyon National Park is one of the most famous and visited national parks in the United States. As a matter of fact, almost five million people visit to see the one mile deep (equivalent to 1.6 km) Grand Canyon annually (NPS, 2013)…
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Download file to see previous pages Furthermore, primeval indications of human adjustment to virtually unsympathetic environment are also present (UNESCO, 2013). In 1979, the park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site (UNESCO, 2013); and in 2010, through the America the Beautiful Quarters program, it was revered with its own personal coin. Nature and Science Grand Canyon National Park possesses a geological uniqueness that is manifested by its rare physical characteristics. Unlike most national parks, the Grand Canyon, as what it is famously known, stages a wide-ranging structure of tributary canyons (NPS, 2013), which likewise conjoins size, depth, and bared layers of vibrant and multi-coloured rocks. The canyon is whittled out by the cut of the Colorado River. The park is generally divided into two main public areas: The North Rim and the South Rim. The remainder of the park is very rocky, bleak, and nearly isolated; nevertheless, many of these distant locations can be reached by backcountry roads and pack trail. Moreover, the park does not only boast its well-polished, smooth rocks, but it also shows off its evergreen forests that makes the park a complete package for tourists and hikers alike. This rich diversity has further been proven by the identification of 1000 plant species found in the park (UNESCO, 2013). Environmental Factors and Issues Recently, Uranium mining has become rather common in the area (Richardson, 2011; Reese, 2010). Thus, environmental factors that may cause some degree of damage to the park have become a concern to its managers. It has been observed that for more than five decades, there have been found radioactive residues that are accruing in and around the Grand Canyon (Richardson, 2011). Nowadays, the National Park Service warns the visiting public to avoid “drinking and bathing” (Grand Canyon Trusts, 2012) in the Colorado River surrounding the Grand Canyon. While to infer that the water pollution brought about by the radioactive residues found in the Colorado River is not definitive and conclusive, indeed, the mining and transportation of radioactive materials can potentially cause pernicious effects not just to the plants, but most importantly, to the people visiting the canyon. Today, a 20 year moratorium has been ordered by Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, to avoid mining activities in and around the canyon (Grand Canyon Trusts, 2012). Natural Features and Ecosystems Grand Canyon’s ecological and geological richness are displayed in various forms, magnificence and environmental significance. A World Heritage Site, Grand Canyon National Park holds more than a lot of natural features and ecosystems that could absolutely capture every person’s eyes. Caves and Karst System Grand Canyon National Park contains an estimated 1000 caves called speleothems (NPS, 2013); although, out of this number, there are only about 330 that have been recorded or inventoried. The caves found in the park are distinctive in shape and location. Unlike the usual caves that we see, the caves in the Grand Canyon burst out of the plateaus’ laterals. These caves have also unusual shapes and takes irregular forms. According to the National Park Service (2013), archaeological remains have been found in some of these caves i.e. split-twig figurines and do have “unique biological systems.” In addition to caves, Grand Canyon is widely known for its karst system: the geological formation formed by the disbanding of layers such as limestone. The park’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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