Photo credit: Travis Nickey
The truth about all of these articles is that none of us know the future. We can speculate, we can look at the trends and examine the data and hope that we're drawing the correct conclusions, but that's all a hope. The next administration could arrive in the office and decide to completely overhaul the parks system. Natural disasters could (and often do) strike and change how we consume a popular Park and its attractions.
So why even write this article at all?
Why contribute to the noise that surrounds the future of the industry and of the outdoors?
I think that it comes down to our own planning. When we talk about the future of the outdoors we're firming up how we interact with the outdoors in the present. Conversations about the meteoric rise in popularity of certain destinations due to geotagging on social media can help us learn how to protect sites from being "overloved" and ecologically ruined.
Learning that Backcountry pollution is on the rise can help us reaffirm and teach others the principles of Leave No Trace.