National Park Service Relies on Webcams to Attract Far-Flung Nature Fans
America’s national parks give visitors a chance to experience the majestic beauty of open lands, lush forests and rugged mountains. But these protected areas are often far from cities, and not everyone is able to travel. Katmai National Park & Preserve in Alaska uses its famed Brown Bear Cam to bring the wonders of wildlife to the entire world.
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Amber Kraft, Education and Interpretation Manager, Katmai National Park and Preserve
Leslie Richardson, Economist, National Park Service
Candice Rusch, Director of New Media, Explore.org
- More than 60 national parks host about 200 total webcams; the parks often partner with outside organizations that provide the bandwidth needed to keep a live webcam running.
- The Katmai webcam was established in 2012, and the park’s Fat Bear Week premiered in 2014. The cam attracts about 9 million unique views every year.
- Federal webcams have provided a way for people to stay connected to national parks during the pandemic, when travel was discouraged and many parks had limited capacity.