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The impact to small towns near highly popular NP's


Al F

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When we visit highly popular national parks, do you ever think about the impact so many visitors have on the local environment and residents?

 

Here is a link to a view from a local resident about all the visitors coming to a very small town on the edge of a highly popular NP:

http://www.suindependent.com/news/id_8462/Letter-to-the-Editor:-Utah-is-not-taking-care-of-its-own,-Springdale-and-Zion-suffering.html

 

I hesitate to post this, because it can invoke strong comments and opinions both pro and con.

 

However it is strong food for thought about the impact of so many visitors to our highly popular scenic NP's.

 

I ran across this info in a blog from a volunteer at Zion NP. If you want the link to the blog PM me. It is a very interesting and informative blog with some great photography.

 

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Unfortunately, the impact on the residents of a town close to a major attraction, NP or other attraction), do pay a price to "put up with the tourists". Increased traffic, lower paying tourist related jobs, and in many cases, I suspect higher prices for normal goods and services are just part of living in or near a tourist destination. Fair or not, it is just how it is. Residents have to decide to either learn to live with it, constantly complain and be miserable, or move. It is an attraction and if I chose to see it, I will go and plan to enjoy it to it's fullest. Always like meeting and dining with the locals. It is good to listing to their perspective on living where so many people love to visit (and would live their if they could). the environmental impact is what the controlling entity makes it. The easier they make it to get there and get in, the bigger the environmental impact. Who say's when enough is enough when it comes to building roads, camping areas, camp stores, and more locally owned stores to support the tourist. No one want's to say "No" and everyone want to make money. Was not offering a solution, just an additional comment. I have lived close to a destination and it is an adjustment but with a good attitude, you can meet many interesting people.

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I live on the edge of a tourist area. We have a diverse economy, so many who are affected by the tourism in the area are not employed in the industry. We whine about the seasonal tourists and they can honestly be maddening, but most of us recognize that the person living next to us may be supporting themselves through tourism. Local towns impacted by tourism do have some means to pay for the influx of visitors here, through fees and local taxes, although there's not enough support from the state on infrastructure when there's been a crisis. On balance, we manage because there's support, albeit grudgingly at times. Sounds like that's not the case there.

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