Environews, Environews, Minis

Environews: Overcrowding at Zion N. P.

By Amy Brunvand

The National Park Service is seeking public scoping comments in order to develop a new Visitor Use Management Plan for Zion National Park. “Visitation to Zion National Park has been increasing for decades, but especially significant increases have been experienced in the last few years,” according to park officials. “In 2015, 3,662,220 people visited the park, which was 450,624 more visitors than in 2014 which was also a record year. The peak season in the park has now extended into early spring and late fall. During the height of the summer season it is now common for visitors to wait in long lines to enter the park and board the park shuttle. Parking is routinely full in the park by 9:30 a.m. daily which adds to the parking congestion in Springdale. This increase in visitation stresses park infrastructure, can degrade natural and cultural resources, and adversely affects the visitors’ park experience.”

Public comments will be used to help draft a plan that should be ready for public review sometime in spring or summer 2018.

Zion N.P. Visitor Use Management Plan and EA. Public scoping comments due by 11/23/2016. https://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=58542


Amy Brunvand is an academic librarian who currently works in the University of Utah Sustainability Office, coordinating sustainability education, research and initiatives at the University.

This article was originally published on November 3, 2016.