U.S. National Park Service celebrates centenary

US National Park Service Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Continuation of the series of reports dedicated to the centenary of the US National Park Service


In an interview with VOA, Jonathan Jarvis spoke about the specifics and challenges of serving as Director of Service, where he worked for 40 years..

Jonathan Jarvis thinks he is lucky in life. He has worked for the US National Park Service for 40 years and has been its Director since 2009. “For the past 100 years, the US government has mandated the National Park Service to care for America’s finest sites that represent our natural and cultural heritage. And to be a part of this organization, to be its director is the dream of my whole life, “- says Jarvis.

During his tenure as director, Jarvis visited 412 scenic spots, ranging from major national parks such as the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone to historic sites and Civil War battles..

“I like to say that the National Park Service is the only federal agency responsible for visitors’ leisure time,” says Jarvis. “We do have a lot of places where Americans and tourists from all over the world can relax and have fun. But we also want our guests to learn something new – be it the mysteries of nature or pages of history “.

There are dark colors in this rainbow picture. “For example, the Manzanar National Historical Park in California. During the Second World War there was a camp in which, by order of Roosevelt, interned Japanese Americans were kept. More than 100,000 Japanese Americans have been imprisoned in camps simply because of their ethnicity. And the park’s job is to tell this story, “Jarvis said..

Recently, the national park system has faced a serious threat.

“We already feel the danger of climate change. For example, glaciers in Glacier National Park could disappear in 20-25 years. Fires in national parks and other areas are wider and last longer than before. Some animal species are forced to move to other locations, and there are not always connecting corridors between parks and not all areas are safe, ”Jarvis said..

U.S. National Park Service celebrates centenary

But he has the support of the president and, most importantly, of society in protecting American nature. Barack Obama also admires the beauty of the park: “Just look at the view here. You can’t just take a picture of it, watch it on TV, or in a painting. You must come here and see it all with your own eyes. There is something sacred about this place, and I believe that is why this valley was called cathedrals, because here in Yosemite National Park we feel our soul. This is something more. This is the soul of America “.

The Head of Service has high hopes for the future of national parks.

Jonathan Jarvis, director of the US National Park Service. “I hope that the parks service will flourish for centuries and that it will have financial support. But, in fact, the most important support is the support of people who still perceive national parks as an important part of their life, ”he said..

U.S. National Park Service celebrates centenary