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Kenai Fjords National Park

Best frozen landscapes

The Kenai Fjords National Park is found in Alaska and it’s an American National Park. This was first established in 1980 through the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act. The park is going to cover a massive area of 669,984 acres and it can be found on the Kenai Peninsula. This is in the south of Alaska and can be found near the amazing town of Seward.

The Harding Ice Field is one of the biggest ice fields found in America; and there are many fjords found in the park. This is how the park is named and the fjords are carved from the glaciers in the mountains. The ice field is going to be a huge area and probably one of the biggest in America; and there are almost 38 different glaciers in the ice fields alone.

One of the biggest glaciers is the Bear Glacier; and this is going to be one of the most popular ports for many cruise ships also. One of the most popular glaciers is the Exit Glacier which can be reached by road.

Originally, it was in 1978 on the 1st of December when the Kenai Fjords National Monument was designated by the American President Jimmy Carter. He designated the park via the Antiquities Act. The park has been created in order to protect the ice fields that are found in the park; this is a very narrow field of land which is found between the sea and the mountains as well as the indented coastline.

There is a huge array of marine life and mammals to find in the park; and many of them are amazing to see in their natural habitats also.

Kenai Fjords National Park facts
Aialik glacier in Kenai Fjords National Park

There weren’t in fact many permanent residents living at and around the park. It is thought that there was long term use of the area because of new evidence found. However, it is thought that a lot of the sites that were rich in history for archaeological studies are now under water because of the rising water levels.

There was evidence to show that there was an earthquake that hit the area in 1170 AD and that the shoreline was greatly lowered. This reduced it to about 1.8 meters and there were many gold mines that were found within the park. Most of the gold mining activities were done in Nuka Bay; and some of the mining sites were active until 1980.

The Activities Found In Kenai Fjords National Park

Most cruise ships will come into and out of the park from Seward; cruises such as the Royal Caribbean International, the Celebrity Cruises and Holland American Line has been using this. However, there are a lot of other cruise liners that have been using the port. There are more than 68,000 passengers that are thought to come here in one year but there are many more that will visit.

This is a great location to visit and there are many amazing public cabins and shelters to use. These can be found in the coastal areas which can be found at the edge of the Harding Ice field. There is however a great co operative relationship with the park and the Alaska Sea Life Centre.

The Wild Life Found In Kenai Fjords National Park

There are many different mammals that can be found in the park today, these can include;

The Moose

The Mountain Goats

The Alaskan Brown Bears

The American Black Bears

The River Otter

The Beaver

The Harbor Seals

Cetaceans

The Steller Sea Lions

The Fin Whales

The Orcas

The Minke Whales

The Humpback Whales

The Dall’s Porpoises

The Pacific White Sided Dolphins

Bird Species Include;

The Bald Eagles

The Black Billed Magpies

The Peregrine Falcon

The Stellers Jays

The Maine Birds

Since there are harsher conditions found in the park, it does mean that the tree lines are limited. In this case, it means that the park does have an alpine ecosystem. The tree lines are going to range from 750 feet to 1000 feet.

The Oil Spill of Kenai Fjords National Park

When the oil tanker, the Exxon Valdez, grounded in 1989 on the 24th of March; it caused a huge contamination of the coastline of Kenai Fjords. The National Park Service established an oil containment line across the salmon streams; this was completed by April and the head lands were the most affected in the lands also.

Kenai Fjords National Park Information
The rocks and mountains of Alaska’s Kenai Fjords National Park

The cleanup of the spillage was a very difficult and long drawn out process. The oil soon became very much so like tar, a tarry substance which was almost impossible to be skimmed. In fact, the spillage was impossible to skim; and the water had to be instead dredged. Work had to spot during September and didn’t resume until the next year.

This work had to continue all the way up to the year of 1991. This is the year when Exxon came together with the Alaskan government to settle and almost $870 million was given by the company and put into a restoration fund.

However with the oil spill, the archeological sites were also affected by this; however this did lead to the discovery of a new beach. This beach was found near MacArthur Pass; it was found during the cleanup and it was the only good thing to come from this oil spillage. This showed that there were native people who used the area long term. It was very difficult to try to clean up the area without disturbing things.

Overall though, the park is now a great and beautiful place to explore. This is going to be a fantastic area to visit when it comes to seeing many amazing sites and it will certainly become an area in which is loved and adorned.

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Yosemite National Park

One Great Natural Beauty

 

Yosemite is a large national park within America, found in California. The National Park Service are the people who manage the park and the actual park can cover over seven hundred thousand acres of land. The Park stretches across the slopes of the mountain chain of Sierra Nevada. Every year, there are more than three million people who visit the park.

The Yosemite National Park was considered to be a World Heritage Site in 1984; and it is known throughout America and indeed the world. Throughout the world, it is the clear streams, the giant Sequoia groves and the amazing waterfalls and the spectacular granite that is recognized. Many people know this park because of its many distinctive features and it is one of the reasons why millions visit each year.

It was President Abraham Lincoln who signed the Yosemite Grant in 1864; and it has become one of the largest national parks throughout America today. The park has been characterized with older rocks and granitic rocks. Throughout the early life of the Yosemite National Park, there were a huge amount of efforts to help protect the area.

Even today, there are many activities to help preserve the Yosemite National Park as well as ensure the many inhabitants are kept safe. There have been many who work year long to try to preserve the park and help keep the plant life and every species safe also.

Yosemite National Park facts
Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park

The Inhabitants of Yosemite National Park

The Yosemite National Park is a site of beauty and there are some amazing woodland of sequoia, pine and fir. Though there is a vast array of animals which can be found in Yosemite National Park including reptiles, mammals, birds, fish, vertebrates and amphibians. Over 250 species can be found within the Yosemite National Park which is truly amazing.

White Headed Woodpecker

American Black Bear

Bobcat

Grey Fox

Cougar

Mountain King Snake

Brown Creeper

Spotted Owls

Mule Deer

Gilbert Skink

Large Snags

Bats

The Northern Goshawk

The Golden Mantled Ground Squirrels

Fisher

Chickaree

Hermit Thrush

Stellers Jay

There are also reptiles found such as;

The Northern Alligator Lizard

The Rubber Boa

The Western Fence Lizard

However, these reptiles are not easily found; they aren’t common but can still be found.

Problems in the Yosemite National Park

In Yosemite National Park, there are a lot of different species living there but some of the inhabitants are not so lucky. Even though there are high quality habitats, animals such as the Least Bell’s Vireo, the Brown Bear and the California condor have actually become extinct within the park. This is extraordinary news however because these animals have become extinct within a space of time. There are almost thirty seven different types of species which are actually under threat. This is because of climate change, pollution, exotic species threatening the animals and many other factors which cause the animals to become extinct and endangered also.

A short while ago, the Black bears of the park were actually famed; they used to break into many parked cars and steal food, they weren’t actually harming anyone, only the cars! The bears were also a huge tourist attraction and the garbage dumps within the park were also famed as a tourist spot because the bears would meet here. They would meet up to eat garbage and the tourist would take photographs of the bears also.

However, with more interaction with the bears and humans, it increased the risk of damage to property. This actually led to a campaign – an aggressive one – that tried to stop the bears from having to rely on food from humans and interacting with them also. Most of the open air dumps were closed off to the public and all of the bins in the park were actually replaced with bins that were bear proof. It was the same for the camp sites; there were bear proof food lockers provided also.

Yosemite National Park Information
Valley in mountains of Yosemite national park

The reason why the bears in Yosemite National Park are encouraged not to have a lot of human contact is because they can show aggression. This could lead to the bears being destroyed and no one wants that. This is why there are more and more people who are trying to be discouraged from interacting with the bears. It is a safety barrier for both humans and the bears.

However, things such as the ozone pollution are also causing a lot of problems within the park. There has been a lot of damaged done to the massive giant sequoia trees. The pollution is causing trouble to the trees and this trouble can mean that the trees are vulnerable to become diseased and have insect infestations building up. Many trees are unable to reproduce because of the soil isn’t able to provide enough nutrients.

The Activities in Yosemite National Park

The Yosemite National Park is opened all year round, however, during the later parts of autumn, a large section of the park is closed. This is due to the snow but it does open back up to all in spring time. For anyone who wishes to visit the park, they could take the open air tours. However, visitors can also go on short walks in the park. Visitors will also be able to take to longer hikes to the waterfalls of Yosemite Valley.

More often than not, most of the visitors will spend the day at the Yosemite Valley. This is a great area to visit and anyone will be able to enjoy a fantastic day out there also. This is one of the simplest areas to get to within the park but there are many other areas to explore also. Though, some of the other areas in and surrounding the park can be quite difficult to reach on foot at times, especially with a vehicle.

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