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The National Park Service Turns 100

For a century the National Park Service has established and preserved parks, seashores and memorials across the country. Sites range from Yellowstone National Park to the César E. Chávez National Monument.

In 2015, the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, both partially located in North Carolina, were two of the top three most visited sites in the National Park system.

However, growing concerns about climate change and big maintenance bills threaten preservation efforts.

Host Frank Stasio talks with Stuart Pimm, professor of conservation ecology at Duke University, and Karen Chávez, outdoors reporter for the Asheville Citizen-Times, about environmental issues surrounding the National Park Service and the economic impact of the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina.

He also talks with Mickey Fearn, former deputy director of the National Park Service, and Tim Barnwell, professional photographer and author of the book "Great Smoky Mountains Vistas" (Numinous Editions/2016), about the relationship between parks and the surrounding communities.

Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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