People from around the world dream of visiting one of the most beautiful pieces of land in North America; Yosemite National Park.  However, this Californian park unfortunately has recently turned into a smokey, ashy, disaster.  California summers have become more and more susceptible to fires due to increasing climate change conditions.  Starting on July 13, 2018, the fire known as the “Ferguson Fire” began to flare up in the central valley of California that caused Yosemite National Park to be closed indefinitely (August 7, 2018) in order to fight one of the worst fires in California history.  One of America’s golden children, Yosemite and the surrounding area hosts a wide variety of outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, boating, RV-ing, and much more that anyone and everyone can enjoy as this is a bucket list destination for many travellers and outdoor lovers alike. However, as of late, due to the fires and poor air quality, people are unable to enjoy this lovely North American landscape.

This is not a natural sunset. The red and orange colors are coming from the smoke and fires.

This year, 2018, is on pace to be the 4th hottest year on record which is due to human activity such as fossil fuel use, overpopulation, and poor waste management. It could not be more clear that now more than ever, climate change is an eminent global issue that must be tackled head on; but with the removal of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) from the United States Government, steps are being taken in the wrong direction.  In order to enjoy the park to the fullest extent we must ensure that places such as Yosemite remain in good condition.  As ash rains down on Yosemite and the surrounding areas, air quality continues to decrease causing less and less people to visit this pristine wildlife sanctuary.  This could potentially seem like a good thing but in reality it is very detrimental to the local economy which thrives off tourists.  Each year, the tourism industry brings in hundreds of millions of dollars to Yosemite, which is put back into the community and keeping the park beautiful.  If these fires are not controlled then families, homes, livelihoods, and more could be destroyed.

If this is a reality you wish to see change then I encourage you to make that change. Without the efforts of individual people like yourselves, these catastrophic events restrict people from doing what they love (traveling & being outdoors).  The Ferguson Fire, and other fires blazing around the United States put National Parks at risk. The reason these National Parks exist in the United States is to preserve the natural beauty that our land offers.  National Parks are public land and there are laws put in place in order to keep them available to the American people to enjoy.  Climate change affects us in multiple ways, but the destruction of homes, families and the things we love may be the most impactful of them all.

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