In recent years, as the National Park Service has faced deep funding cuts and a stagnant number of visitors, the country's demographic changes have made its problems more pronounced.
Most visitors to National Parks are white, and increasingly, they're also older. For instance, Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park is one of the nation’s most visited and accessible parks, yet recent research out of the University of Idaho indicates that 92% of visitors in 2011 were white.
For more than a century, coal companies here in Virginia have been transforming wooded hillsides -- strip mining more than a million acres of land in Central Appalachia.
They're required to restore those sites, but environmentalists aren't always happy with the results, and area residents find no economic use for the land. Now, however, there's something new happening on old mining sites.