Limiting Visitors, Access to America’s Parks

I think this article represents one of the biggest issues regarding America’s parks today. It also regards the portion of this week’s book, Desert Solitaire, which I most connected with. The article focuses on one of America’s most iconic parks; Yosemite and how the department of interior is mulling over ideas about how to balance wilderness with the throngs of visitors that traipse through it each year. The main argument for restricting the number of people able to summit Half Dome each day from 1,200 to 300 is that the 1964 Wilderness Preservation Act has not really been implemented. One of Abbey’s ideas is even being pondered; restricting car traffic in the park.

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The park system wants to uphold its promise to protect the land for future generations. That promise, however comes at the price of de-capitalizing and deurbanizing the wilderness; it would cease to be accessible to all. As a self proclaimed “earthiest” Abbey has no qualm about inconveniencing the public in order to restore the grandeur luster to our parks. Abbey may be guilt free about his decision, but how do you convince an entire country so spoiled with their rights and entitlements to “sacrifice” easy access to the wild, perhaps America’s most precious asset?

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