‘Not Sustainable’: Overcrowding Changing The Soul Of US National Parks

"Travelers, tour guides and service workers share how years of record-high tourism levels are reshaping popular destinations"

"On a two-lane road leading to Acadia national park’s picturesque Bass Harbor head lighthouse, traffic has come to a standstill. A row of cars wait to enter the parking lot, with one local turning around altogether to try again on a less crowded day.

Visitors have flooded national parks this summer as Covid-19 regulations eased throughout the US. The National Park Service reported that half of recreation visits are occurring within just 5% of all parks, with significant congestion concentrated in the most popular 12 to 15 high-profile destinations.

Park officials are encouraging visitors to “plan like a ranger” and avoid crowds, although some locals are hesitant about regulating access to public lands. The Guardian spoke to five people who live near national parks to gather their experiences as visitation reaches record-breaking numbers."

Mai Tran reports for the Guardian September 10, 2021.

Source: Guardian, 09/15/2021