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Limited Access to Zion National Park?

Limited Access to Zion National Park?
August 03
16:50 2017

 

Zion National Park, in Utah, sure is a popular destination.

Last year more than four million visited Zion – breaking the park’s all-time record (which was set in 2015).

But can too much of a good thing be a bad thing?

Park officials are starting to worry.

Though visitors love to come to Zion park officials must keep their focus on its mission, said Jack Burns, the chief of Commercial Services and Partnerships at Zion National Park.

To preserve the park’s natural beauty, officials are considering limiting public access.

“I think what’s first and foremost for us here at Zion is we really want to make sure that we are able to uphold our park mission, which is a mission that is in perpetuity,” Burns said. “We really want to make sure Zion remains a special place for future generations who come after us.”

The increase in the number of visitors has already had an impact on the park, according to Burns.

There are now twice as many miles of visitor-created trails than there are trails created by the National Park Service. He said.

Those trails – created where people stepped off the designated trail and made their own path – can cause damage to delicate natural habitat, Burns added.

And, Burns explained, too many people can make a visit to Zion less enjoyable.

After all, who wants to spend their vacation looking for a parking space, waiting in a long line for a shuttle or not having a camping spot?

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Zion Art by Howard Russell Butler

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