10 Photos Proving That Prove This Was America’s Best Idea

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Natural beauty is elusive. It can be difficult to find, and it can be even more difficult to hang onto once found. That's why in 1872 Yellowstone, the first ever U.S. National Park was established. And with the establishment came a vow, to preserve this national treasure forever, so that generations to come could enjoy the same exact beauty that their ancestors wandered upon so long before.

Today, there are 58 U.S. National Parks in all. In 2015, 307,247,252 people visited the National Parks for recreation.

In less than 150 years, establishing national parks has transitioned from what Wallace Stegner called “America's best idea,” to one of America's tried and true pastimes.

Unfortunately, as you'll find in the last photo of the slideshow below, U.S. National Parks face a dilemma moving forward: with insufficient funding, U.S. National Parks could experience drastic declines in cleanliness, accessibility, and quality.

Unless action is taken now, the beauty you'll find in the following images could disappear.

America's national parks aren't the only natural environments in danger. In order for it, and the thousands of species whom call it home, to survive, the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest needs our help.

Once stretching over 500,000 square miles in eastern Brazil and Argentina, only 7% of the forest remains. Why? Because of logging. Because of agricultural expansion. Because of urbanization.

If we don't help, one of the planet's most biodiverse environments could be lost forever.

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Garrett Dennert resides in West Michigan. When he isn’t writing (or editing), you can find him outside, riding a bike, reading a book, or just plain running. Other interests include sports (of any kind), music (again, any kind) and cinema (a bit pickier here).