Crowded hours

 

The West In 72 Hours” (HCN, 4/13/15), light-heartedly written, exposes a nationwide tragedy in progress. There is nothing humorous in the ongoing ruination of our national parks. It doesn’t matter whether the hordes of visitors are Asian, European or American. They are destroying the very thing they profess to love.


I’ve lived in Zion Park’s entry town of Springdale, Utah, for 25 years, and I’ve worked in the park both as summer staff and as a volunteer every year. Visitation during that time has gone from manageable crowds to total disaster. Visitors enter the park only to find that the parking lots are full. We advise them to return to Springdale, find parking and return via shuttle. On busy days, the shuttles are standing-room only. If you are seated, the view is of belt buckles. If you stand, there is a great view of the inside of the bus. The buses deliver hundreds of visitors to all the trailheads in very little time, crowding them beyond belief. During the winter “off season,” the canyon opens up again to private autos. On busy weekends, cars are parked illegally throughout the park, resulting in widespread damage. The folks who promote tourism are, of course, overjoyed.

Marcel Rodriguez
Springdale, Utah