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MyFootHurts
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PostTue Nov 20, 2018 7:25 pm 
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jupsal wrote:
I wonder how many of the people complaining about overcrowding on this post have children....

And support bringing millions of more people into the country.
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jupsal
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PostTue Nov 20, 2018 7:31 pm 
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And support bringing millions of more people into the country.

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It's not an isolated problem. Overpopulation isn't only hurting our precious parks, it's hurting all of the world's parks and everything in between.

I would guess that most people on this forum who have children are probably encouraging their children to go experience the outdoors. That is a direct link to overcrowding in parks/wilderness in your backyard.
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thunderhead
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PostTue Nov 20, 2018 9:00 pm 
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Well actually, if you have 2 or fewer kids, you aren't contributing to overpopulation.... until aging is cured that is.
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RandyHiker
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 12:13 am 
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The "Rate of natural increase" in the USA is quite low at this point.

https://knoema.com/atlas/United-States-of-America/topics/Demographics/Population/Rate-of-natural-increase

Were it not for immigration (of any sort) we would be facing all sorts of other problems by not having enough young people working to support the elderly/retired population.

Sure go ahead an delude yourself that crowded national parks / natural wonders is a completely new problem caused by instagram.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 12:24 am 
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jasonracey wrote:
I stopped posting WTA trip reports about 10 years ago. You definitely see a trip posted, and then a dozen more from that location soon afterwards, as everyone flocks there based on the initial report.

I also noticed Flickr contacts seeing me post an image, then a week later an image from the same location shows up on their page.

When I set up my tripod for a shot in national parks that are stupid crowded - Arches, Yosemite, Rocky Mountain - I've had people line up right next to me to try to get the same image. I've even had people who don't understand wide-angle get IN my shot. These are the human equivalent of street pigeons. I want to grab their camera and smash it.

You should stop using cameras, you're killing all our favorite places.
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jinx'sboy
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 3:32 am 
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RandyHiker wrote:
.....that crowded national parks / natural wonders is a completely new problem caused by instagram....

I have to mostly agree with Randy.  I grew up in Colorado.  Estes Park was a sh## show in the mid 60s, and parking was at a premium anywhere along Trail Ridge road in RMNP.  Our family did a driving tour to Yellowstone and Grand Teton in 1964.  Cody Wyoming and Jackson Hole were both crowded.  I can still remember my father laughing hysterically at the overwhelming sound of simultaneous shutter clicks at Old Faithful.  A couple summers later, I recall having to queue up to visit the most popular spots in Mesa Verde NP.

I think social media just reminds us, more frequently, of what we humans have likely chosen not to see or remember (i.e. crowds) of our visits.  We chose to remember the good stuff....until reminded differently.
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neek
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 6:57 am 
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I think Uber is on the right track with "surge pricing".

The problem has little to do with population, rather the excess time and money we're finding ourselves with these days.  This trend will continue, at least in the near term.

500 million Chinese were lifted out of extreme poverty in the past 30 years.  Surely someone who can afford to take time off work and fly across the world to a national park can afford more than a $20 entrance fee.

Still, the idea of running national parks like a business, or shutting out those who are still in poverty, doesn't sit well with me.  Maybe banning cars is the answer.

At any rate, that article left more questions than answers, and of course appealed more to emotion than reason.  It would be nice to see the data for painting a bigger economic picture.
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Gil
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 6:58 am 
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Yellowstone in winter -- I went on several snowshoe hikes on which I only saw these guys.
Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone
Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone

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Sky Hiker
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 7:07 am 
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A site of the past now
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kiliki
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 9:38 am 
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This is a problem everywhere these days. Google "overtourism." There are too many of us; the Chinese and Indians are traveling; young people are spending their money on experiences not mortgages/stuff; and Instagram absolutely is a driver. (Yes the NPs were overcrowded in the 50s/60s--that's what the famous Mission 66 program was about--due to specific social and economic factors. Lots of lots of new development and new park relieved the pressure somewhat. But, numbers then were far lower than they are now, and we can't build our way out of it this time). There have been anti-tourist protests in all over Europe. https://theculturetrip.com/europe/spain/articles/11-angry-tourist-hotspots-that-are-best-avoided-this-summer/

BUT I think there is good news coming. We've reached a tipping point. At  Yosemite Valley in summer it now takes people 3 hours to get into the valley from El Portal. (Employees have to leave for work 4 hours early to get there on time). The nearby tourist-reliant towns have finally cried uncle. They've always vehemently opposed any kind of reservation/traffic control/timed entry and now they are saying, we have to have one. It's in the works. It's unclear if Yosemite's congressional representatives will be on board; that has been a big problem in the past (maybe some people remember Rep. George Radanovich, "the congressman from Yosemite"--anytime Yosemite talked about limiting cars or parking he'd threaten to cut NPS budgets). Arches has a reservation system in the works. Many will bemoan the death of spontaneity but I'd argue you aren't being spontaneous when you are in line for 2-3 hours then can't find parking anywhere, which is the situation now. That is happening at the Nisqually entrance at Rainier.

I can't wait until there are more timed entry/reservation systems. I'd want to visit a lot of spots that I currently won't consider, if I know that I won't be in line for hours then fighting with others for space.

More consideration of timed entry/reservations will depend on public pressure and whether local politicians/businesses want it. Make your voices heard. Write the park you are concerned about and cc your elected officials. They need to know people are on board with this and with other solutions, like a transportation system. A lot of us here may say, oh, it doesn't matter to me, I wouldn't go to Paradise on a summer weekend if you paid me. But visitation is going to keep growing, and it's going to affect anyone who visits NPs.
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kiliki
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 9:44 am 
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Re counting visitors--Olympic isn't any different than most parks in terms of visitors passing through, and since it's in the sparsely populated upper left hand corner of the US it's impacted FAR less by traffic passing through than many other parks, especially those in the east like Great Smoky Mts or Shenandoah (or western parks near population centers or with highways through them).
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Ski
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 9:55 am 
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neek wrote:
Surely someone who can afford to take time off work and fly across the world to a national park can afford more than a $20 entrance fee.

Still, the idea of running national parks like a business, or shutting out those who are still in poverty, doesn't sit well with me.  Maybe banning cars is the answer.

National Parks are ultimately funded with tax dollars paid by US citizens.

There are two price levels for state hunting and fishing licenses: one for in-state residents, and one for out-of-state residents.

Why can there NOT be a two-tiered pricing system on entrance fees at National Parks?

On the idea of banning cars:

William J. Briggle, former superintendent at Mt. Rainier National Park, tried to ramrod that idea through up at MRNP, and it was shot down by a majority of local residents.

They've had a shuttle bus system in place at Glacier NP for decades, but it certainly didn't seem to do much to relieve traffic congestion the day I was there.

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Kim Brown
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 10:09 am 
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jinx'sboy wrote:
Estes Park was a sh## show in the mid 60s,

About the time the parents of baby boomers were taking their kids on vacations.

And it could be the result of the Parks' Mission 66 push to "accommodate increased visitor numbers and to provide high-quality interpretation services" by 1966.

Even nowadays, NPS promote visitation while at the same time bemoaning over-crowding. Its a tough marketing conundrum. You want people to appreciate public lands, but you dont want to overwhelm public lands. The infrastructure ideas have to go through the geologically-slow public process, and with federal funding sources to upgrade not being reliable, and Americans being selfish and enjoy being outraged at perceived slights against their freedom to use their cars, things are stuck at status quo.

Windshield Wilderness: Cars, Roads, and Nature in Washington's National Parks by David Louter is a very good book about the history of tourism, National Parks, and the idea of wilderness (prompted by overbuilding Parks).

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Sky Hiker
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 10:20 am 
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Not only that but people are hiking more even during the week day then ever before. An example is mid week I would never see any vehicles parked at Heybrook lookout, or Eagle falls now when going thru midweek I do. Last Wed driving thru there was 4 cars there at 3 pm and 2 at eagle falls.
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Bootpathguy
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PostWed Nov 21, 2018 11:07 am 
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Ski wrote:
There are two price levels for state hunting and fishing licenses: one for in-state residents, and one for out-of-state residents.

Why can there NOT be a two-tiered pricing system on entrance fees at National Parks?

Earlier in the thread you hinted @ charging more for foreigners. I thought to myself, that approach will somehow be twisted into a...

"different ethnicities pay different prices"

But you are absolutely correct about residents and non- residents paying different prices for a hunting license.

It's a fair point

But, what's the amount paid above resident price, for foreigners when then it becomes a "racism" issue?

10% more? 50% more? Double? Triple?

A "stay home" price?

Because what you'd want the result to be, is to charge so much, that foreigners would question if they really want to drop that kind of $ to go see a bend in a river shaped like a horseshoe

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