A huge controversy has erupted lately over the restoration of “natural quiet at Grand Canyon” The Park Service just went through a long process of collecting data from hikers, air tour operators, rafters and other park visitors. From the input they received they come up with a plan and a couple of alternatives and again went through the process of collecting data. A ruling was expected to be made this month but a bill backed by legislators from Arizona and Nevada and signed into law supercedes anything the Park Service may decide to do.
Environmental groups are accusing the legislators of taking bribes from the air tour owners. Air tour owners are saying they would be unable to provide many of the tours that visitors would like to have and they might be forced to let hundreds of employees go. They are contending that there were already too many jobless people and adding more would not help. For more information read the full article here.
One of our favorite tours, the Canyon River Adventure, was at risk because it foll ows the Marble Canyon corridor. Of course, we are biased in favor of the air tour industry. However, members of our company are avid hikers and some love doing the multiple-day white water tours. They like to experience “natural quiet at Grand Canyon” but contend that the jets flying over are more disruptive than the helicopters and tour planes. The air tour industry is only allowed to fly regular tours over the Canyon from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm in the summer and from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in the winter. That leaves a lot of time for people to enjoy “natural quiet”.
Senators McCain and Kyle posted an opinion piece in the Arizona Republic today. They defended their position which was established in the transportation bill. Commenters on the article were in total opposition to their opinion. You can read the article and comments at this link. Then share your opinion in the comments on our blog. Do you think there is enough natural quiet at Grand Canyon or do you think the Park Service should have been allowed to implement their plan?