Re: road closures, redux

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Posted by David Victor Day Sr. on May 17, 2002 at 21:11:05:

In Reply to: road closures, redux posted by curt on May 17, 2002 at 17:57:12:

Hank is right. When I first visited DVNP over 30 years ago, visitation was a fraction of what it is now. When I made my first August visit in '72 there were no tourists in sight. But when the monument was "saved" by the creation of the National Park, things went to hell fast. Tourism has quadrupled. Within the first several years of the new Park, I counted 17 roads that were closed or truncated (most of which had been open for a hundred years or more.) This was not done to "save" the park from those who knew and loved the desert; rather it was done to save the park from the creation the park itself and the resulting influx of tourists who are flatlanders with little knowledge of the history and natural history of the area and little or no regard for that which some of us love so much. National park status has not helped protect the park - it has accelerated the deterioration by bringing in so many people who, if truly interested, would have found out about it the hard way. And this is particualrly bad for us old codgers with heart problems, bad feet, bad knees and such who can no longer enjoy the park so that some waffle stomping tree hugger can feel warm and fuzzy about the way they are "protected" at our expense.
I figure that in the third of a century that I have been traveling the park, over 25 totalling more than 75 miles roads have been closed or truncated. The majority of those closures have been in the last 8 years. Figure it out folks - how long will it take to close them all? Not long - at this rate the park will reach its goal of dumbing us all down to the lowest common denominator with in just a few years. Then we ride the elephant train into the park, visit the new Badwater observation point and only marvel at the fact that some people in the past were actually able to explore the wonders of Death Valley.

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