Forum Index > Trail Talk > Air Tours Management Plan in MRNP and ONP?
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Eric Hansen
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PostWed Aug 25, 2021 7:11 pm 
I have some experience in this from other parks. In the late 1990's tour helicopters showed up at Glacier NP (MT). Ugly as could be. You'd be way off in the backcountry and ten minutes of the hour the basin sounded like a subway-- and they would hover and watch you climb. Off the record conversations with NPS personnel I knew clarified that top NPS management thought the helicopters were a good thing. Despite the fact they were de facto harassment of the wildlife. Researching, I noticed a campaign at Rocky Mountain National Park (led by the League of Women Voters) that passed a bill through Congress making RMNP the only park in the country with a complete ban on commercial air tours overhead. In addition, FAA created a flight path to Denver International that minimized airplane noise over the park. I'd suggest finding the League of Women Voters folks that got that done, and seeing what tactics worked in Colorado. Obviously they had a broad, powerful campaign to get a bill through Congress. Yes, RMNP is a local icon, poster child for the Denver area metro. But I suspect there is a similar fan club for ONP, MRNP, in the Puget Sound area. Glacier NP? I wasn't a local and I didn't see a path forward on stopping the helicopters. I moved on, doing trips in the Beartooths and Wind Rivers. And eventually the North Cascades.

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PostWed Aug 25, 2021 7:13 pm 
Kim - I get that part of it. So commenting about anything "not within the scope of this project" is pointless. Are the commercial tour flights causing that big a problem at present at MRNP or ONP? huh.gif

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Kim Brown
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PostWed Aug 25, 2021 7:43 pm 
Given not a lot of people seem to know they have been allowed in MRNP for years, apparently not; at least not there. But if the two businesses that are contracted to run trips ever do run to full capacity, it would be cool to have limitations already in place.

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Kim Brown
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PostWed Aug 25, 2021 8:40 pm 
Good information.
kiliki wrote:
We talked about this here. RodF has some good background. https://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8034314

"..living on the east side of the Sierra world be ideal - except for harsher winters and the chance of apocalyptic fires burning the whole area." Bosterson, NWHiker's marketing expert
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PostSun Aug 29, 2021 10:51 am 
Back in the day we used to do Rainier tours flying out of Seatac...climbing to 16,500' (to be 2000' above) then arcing around the southern part of the mountain. For passengers looking out the left side, the view was filled with glaciers and crevasses...pretty spectacular. This worked well for SEA-DEN flights.

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kiliki
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PostWed Jul 20, 2022 1:54 pm 
The plan has been finalized. If I'm reading it correctly, one company can do one tour per day on a defined route, staying above 3000', between 10 am and 3 pm unless they use a quieter plane (then they get extended hours). I am no fan of air tours but that seems reasonable to me. Though I'm not clear as to whether more companies could apply and there could be more flights. https://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?documentID=122176

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Anne Elk
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PostWed Jul 20, 2022 2:10 pm 
FWIW, National Parks ought to be areas where quiet reigns (outside of, I suppose, the tour buses & cars to the in-park concessions & THs). They ought to be free from helicopters, tour planes, etc. ie, mandated no-fly zones. Supposedly at one time even jets out of Sea-Tac used to deliberately not fly over ONP. I'm sure those days are gone. You want to see MRNP from the air? Book a trip to California on AAL. I'm in a real get-off-my-lawn mood today. huh.gif

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JimmyBob
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PostWed Sep 28, 2022 4:05 pm 
Hiking in Rainier this past weekend, so many small planes flying over the Sunrise area at low altitudes, terrible noises for no good reason. Should be a full no fly zone.

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Anne Elk
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PostWed Sep 28, 2022 4:31 pm 
Maybe the pro-fliers and no-fliers could compromise. Like, gliders only. Takeoff from outside the park - in Puyallup maybe. tongue.gif I'm still in a "get off my lawn" mood. Can you tell? huh.gif

"There are yahoos out there. Itís why we canít have nice things." - Tom Mahood
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kiliki
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PostWed Sep 28, 2022 9:29 pm 
JimmyBob wrote:
Hiking in Rainier this past weekend, so many small planes flying over the Sunrise area at low altitudes, terrible noises for no good reason. Should be a full no fly zone.
That's very disappointing. I wonder if they were all officially allowed to be in that airspace? I thought the plan said there was only 1 permitted operation at the moment. Complain: https://www.nps.gov/mora/contacts.htm

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JimmyBob
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PostMon Oct 03, 2022 3:49 pm 
I don't know, I was hiking in the Grand Park area. I heard/saw at least 6.

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