Added: Tejuan Heredia - Date: 01.12.2021 08:16 - Views: 28893 - Clicks: 5135
Nothing epitomizes the natural splendor of America quite like a national park. The deation evokes images of quiet groves of towering sequoias deep in the Sierra Nevadas, sweeping views of sun-drenched rock formations in the Southwest or waves crashing against granite cliffs in coastal Maine. Recently, though, national parks have become synonymous not with bucolic retreat but rather a decidedly less appealing phenomenon: crowds.
More than million people visited the public lands managed by the National Park Service in , and, after a brief, pandemic-prompted respite, the system is again straining to accommodate the hordes of Americans yearning for a little fresh air after more than a year spent mostly indoors. It means inching along behind a long line of minivans and R.
More than three million people visited the park in , and Mr. Jenkins estimates that total will reach four million this year. Yellowstone, whose history as a national park predates the Park Service itself, registered its first month with over a million visitors in July. Little, however, is being done to resolve the core issue: There are too many people concentrated in too few places. These are just two of the dozens of wilderness areas across the country that are already managed by the Park Service yet remain practically unknown.
Redeating them as national parks could change that overnight. More recently, Headwaters Economics, a research group based in Montana, issued a report that found an average increase of 21 percent in annual visits at the eight sites that were redeated as national parks over the past two decades. A spokesperson for the park estimates that visits have increased by 24 percent in the months since. The most substantial difference between national parks and monuments is that the latter are created by presidential decree rather than congressional action; indeed, many national parks began as monuments and were only later elevated to their now rarefied status.
The need for places like Craters of the Moon to be seen as destinations in their own right will only become more acute as the Park Service continues to pursue active visitor management across its busiest sites. Reservations are already required to enter Yosemite and Rocky Mountain, and rangers at Zion recently proposed introducing a lottery for tickets to Angels Landing, a spectacular trail that requires the harrowing traversal of a red rock ridge only a few feet wide.
Weiler said. Arches National Park, in Utah, has closed its gates entirely when things get particularly busy, stoking frustration among sightseers who arrive too late in the day to get in. Megan Lawson of Headwaters Economics points out that a family shut out of Arches is naturally going to scramble to find a nearby alternative. The simplest way to ensure the preserves that absorb those visitors are prepared for the influx is to identify the national monuments closest to the most crowded Park Service sites and reclassify them, thus giving road trippers intent on visiting a national park another appealing option when they realize their initial destination is too busy.
Of course, many Westerners will shudder at the notion of under-the-radar gems like Craters of the Moon and the Valles Caldera becoming the next Bryce Canyon or Badlands. Jenkins, the superintendent of Grand Teton, says the Park Service is constantly having internal debates about the tricky business of alleviating crowding at some sites without overwhelming others. Creating more parks is an easy part of the solution.
The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. Here are some tips. The best way to rebalance the scale? We need more national parks. Kyle Paoletta is a freelance writer and critic.Who wants to go to the park
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