Wildwood Outfitters Blog and Fishing Report
Not too long ago my wife and I returned from our honeymoon in Alaska. It's our goal to eventually hit every National Park in America, so "The Last Frontier" was high on our list of places to visit. We cruised through Glacier Bay and then explored Kenai Fjords before venturing into the Alaskan interior to gaze in wonder at Denali, North America's highest peak. Unfortunately, like 70% of guests, we didn't get to see the mountain, but we did learn about an initiative called the Denali Zero Landfill Project.
One morning while waiting in line for coffee at the Creekside Cafe (UNREAL burgers at this spot, just FYI) I noticed some stickers lying on the register counter. A pile of garbage and the words "Don't Feed the Landfill" written in bold print. I paid for the coffee and took a sticker because hey, stickers are cool and they look sweet on the Yeti! It was only after researching a bit more I realized just how terrific of a program this was. According to the NPS, more people visited Denali in 2017 than ever before, yet landfill trash was down roughly 25%! More people (by quite a few) than ever before, yet lowering trash deposits by a quarter. I almost didn't believe it until traveling into the park and seeing the changes firsthand.
At the bus depot at the park entrance is a water bottle filling station to provide guests an opportunity to refill their liquids without creating more waste. The Eielson Visitor Center, which sits at mile marker 66 of the Park Road, is totally self sufficient thanks to solar panels! Everywhere there's a trash can there is also a large bin for recycle, separating glass and plastics. At park cash registers there are signs asking that guests please consider using a reusable bag for their souvenirs. The numbers speak for themselves, and it is really exciting to see a plan yield such results. Considering 331 million people visit National Parks and produce 100 million pounds of waste, cutting down what we put into landfills by 25% is noteworthy and provides an excellent opportunity for future generations to enjoy these wild places.