There’s been quite a bit of National Parks news this week, and unfortunately none of it is very good.

GetOutdoors and the Goat both picked up on AP stories about an announcement by the Department of the Interior that said they were considering relaxing firearm restrictions in National Parks and Recreation Areas. According to an NRA spokesman, this is great because “law-abiding citizens should not be prohibited from protecting themselves and their families while enjoying America’s national parks and wildlife refuges.”

I could go into the myriad reasons why this is pretty f’in ridiculous, but climb_ca and Rocky both do a pretty great job of venting.

This news hits at the same time as the results from a six-year federal study of pollutants in the West’s National Parks. The findings? Not so hot.

Despite being banned in the States, dangerously high levels of contaminants like mercury, DDT and PCBs were found up and down the West Coast’s “pristine natural areas,” from Denali to Big Bend and – closer to home – Yosemite and Sequoia and Kings Canyon Parks.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon had contaminant levels in fish that exceeded both the levels for safe human consumption and fish-eating-wildlife consumption. Which is pretty frightening.

Read more on the study at the National Park Service web site.

Photo by DeShark.

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