And another one. Thanks a ton, in advance. Any feedback from anyone is welcome too. Something was wrong with the link of the article. I pasted it first. My essay comes later.
“Government Must Preserve National Parks” Adapted from Todd Davidson
©2014 by Capitol Hill Publishing Corp. Originally published in The Hill, September 18, 2013.
The world has an enduring love affair with America’s national parks. Conceived nearly 100 years ago, national parks connect us with our shared heritage and tell our nation’s stories. Who among us has stared into the deep blue caldera of Crater Lake, looked up at Half Dome as the special time of winter approaches in the Yosemite Valley, or witnessed the spectacular October fall colors of red maples, oaks and hickories in the forests of the Great Smoky Mountains and not been overcome by the incredible, almost magical grandeur that has been preserved for us and future generations?
Collectively, our national parks, monuments, seashores, recreation areas, historic sites, military parks, battlefields and heritage areas represent the very best our nation has to offer. Along with their intrepid and iconic Park Rangers, they embody the true spirit of our country, bringing our nation’s history to life.
In addition to being stunning and educational, national parks are immensely affordable destinations for American families and are top U.S. tourist attractions. Each year, nearly 300 million people visit one or more of America’s 401 national parks, ranging from educational Civil War battlefields to awe-inspiring places like Yellowstone, Acadia National Park and the Grand Canyon. These park visitors are a significant component of the U.S. tourism economy. They stay in nearby hotels, rent cars, dine at local restaurants, buy at retail shops and visit other neighboring attractions, generating more than $30 billion in spending and supporting a quarter-million jobs. National parks are clearly a winning economic scenario for visitors, the economies of nearby towns and communities and ultimately our nation.
But now, these prolific economic engines are at risk. Over the last decade, national park budgets have seen a steady decline in funding, and currently suffer from an annual operations shortfall of more than $500 million. The National Park Service budget for construction and maintenance is only half of the amount necessary to maintain park sewer systems, roofs, foundations and road surfaces.
The sequester1 cut another $153 million to national park budgets. Before Congress left for recess, each chamber shared a funding proposal with completely opposite visions for our national parks: one that cuts even deeper, affecting rangers, visitor centers and campgrounds, and another that would get our parks on the road to recovery. Through the across-the-board sequester cuts, parks have fewer rangers to protect and maintain historic sites and greet visitors, minimized visitor center hours, closed campgrounds, restrooms and picnic areas and reduced road and trail maintenance that is essential for park accessibility and enjoyment.
There is an irony to all this, because national parks are one of the best investments this country has ever made. In addition to supporting the U.S. travel and tourism industry, which is a cornerstone of the U.S. economy that represents $1.8 trillion in economic output and supports 14 million American jobs, every dollar invested in the National Park Service generates $10 in economic activity. National parks are veritable economic engines critical to supporting the livelihood of businesses and communities across the country.
Last year, President Obama called for a national travel and tourism strategy to make the United States the world’s top travel and tourism destination, as part of a comprehensive effort to spur job creation. The White House released the strategy just over a year ago—an important step that officially elevates the travel and tourism industry to what it should be: a national priority. It also recognizes the industry for its fundamental contribution to our economy, national security and public diplomacy.
Our national parks can play an important role in making the U.S. a top travel destination. As the National Park System approaches its centennial in 2016, there should be a robust national park centennial initiative to help attract international visitors and provide needed support for our national parks to flourish into the next century.
1 A cut in spending by the federal government
Here’s my essay:
In his article, Todd Davidson builds an argument to support the fact the “Government Must Preserve National Parks.” He portrays the significance of national parks in the country’s tourism sector, economy, and the lives of Americans. He does so through skillful use of rhetorical questions, relevant data, and a strong word choice.
Davidson starts off his article with a series of rhetorical questions that appeal to the readers’ sense of pathos. He compels his readers to reminisce the time when they “stared into the deep blue caldera of Crater Lake, looked up at Half Dome as the winter approaches in the Yosemite Valley, or witnessed the spectacular October fall colors of red maples, oaks hickories.” By doing so, the writer approaches the issue in a way that plays to the emotions of the readers. It helps the overall argument by establishing the “magical grandeur” of national parks that “has been preserved for us and future generations.” As for the readers, this approach is certain spur emotions in their hearts. Through this strategy Davidson successfully completes his first step towards building a strong argument, appealing to pathos.
Davidson furthers his argument with an extensive use of facts and data that help bolster his point by proving national parks to be beneficial. He reminds his readers that “national parks connect us[Americans] with our shared heritage and tell our nation’s stories.” He points out that “every dollar invested in the National Park Service generates $10 in economic activity.” Davidson’s facts establish the emotional and economical importance of National Parks in America. This also strengthens his professorial stance on the issue as the data clearly demonstrate Davidson’s research and expertise on the issue. In addition, the argument now has a logical basis and is more convincing. The readers can also realize the importance of investing in national parks. Every one of the author’s facts and numbers add to the logical power of Davidson’s argument making it more reasonable and persuasive. This strategy not only strengthens the author’s ethos but also appeals to the readers’ sense of logos.
Finally, Davidson adds guttural power to his argument with the help of a strong word choice. He tells his readers that “national parks…represent the very best our[Americans] has to offer.” He writes that national parks “embody the true spirit of our country[America]. bringing our[Americans] history to life.” Davidson’s diction demonstrates his creative prowess and his power to captivate his readers. The argument is engaging and more likely to prompt action largely because of the strong choice of words. This outstanding use of words help the readers to really connect with Davidson’s claim and comprehend the significance of investing in national parks.
In conclusion, Todd Davidson does an outstanding job of advocating for Government regulated preservation of national parks. He builds a compelling and captivating argument through masterful use of rhetorical questions, facts, and a strong word choice.