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Tragedy Leads to Change

Tragedy Leads to Change
October 14
09:47 2015

A panel is being convened to assess what factors were involved in last month’s flash flood tragedy in Zion National Park and to recommend changes in the permit system.

The National Park Service acknowledges that the current system is designed to protect wilderness values, not people.

And, NPS is hard-pressed to handle a 65% increase in visitation in the past five years, while staffing levels remain unchanged.

Currently, Zion’s 21 slot canyons are not closed to hikers until flooding has begun.  That was too late for the seven hikers who perished September 14 as they were deep into their outing when Keyhole Canyon was closed behind them.

The panel will meet in late November.  It will be comprised of both Park Service personnel and outside advisors.

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