Zion National Park News Release May 16, 2016 For Immediate Release Contact: Aly Baltrus: firstname.lastname@example.org Zion’s Visitor Use Management Plan Public Listening Sessions Park holding sessions on-line and in four surrounding communities Springdale, UT- Zion National Park is hosting a series of public listening sessions as part of a Visitor Use Management (VUM) planning process. Park managers are looking for ways to improve visitor experiences at Zion while protecting the park’s fundamental resources and values. Visitation to Zion National Park has been increasing for decades, but extraordinarily since 2010. In 2015, 3,662,220 people visited the park, 450,624 more visitors than in 2014, which was also a record year. Zion’s busy season continues to extend further into the early spring and late fall. For example, March 2016 visitation was 112% higher than 2012 visitation. This increase in visitation has begun to overtax park infrastructure and service capability, degrade natural and cultural resources, and adversely affect visitors’ park experiences. In order to address these issues, Zion National Park began a Visitor Use Management (VUM) planning process in January. As part of this process, the park would like to hear from the public in an informal open house listening session. “Your voice is extremely important in this process,” says Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh. “We want to hear about your experiences at Zion National Park, your perspectives on visitor use levels, and any recommendations you may have to enhance resource protection and visitor experience.” The VUM planning process will also include a commercial services strategy for the park. This will outline the park’s 5-year plan for providing enhanced commercial services to visitors while looking at current activities, future needs, commercial use authorization permitting, and special park uses. Please join us for one of the following sessions: Monday, May 23, 5-7pm Canyon Community Center, 126 Lion Blvd, Springdale, UT Tuesday, May 24, 5-7pm Sharwan Smith Student Center, Brian Head Room, Southern Utah University, 351 W. 200 S., Cedar City, UT Wednesday, May 25, 5-7pm Dixie Center, Entrada Room, 1835 Convention Center Drive, St., George, UT Thursday, May 26, 5-7 pm Kanab City Library, Multipurpose Room, 374 North Main, Kanab UT There will be no formal presentation; participants can arrive anytime between 5pm and 7pm. Another opportunity people have to participate in a Zion Visitor Use Management Plan Listening Session is through a webex. Participates just need internet access. Wednesday, June 1, 2016, from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm (Mountain Daylight Time) Event number: 666 519 501 Event password: eN3JwQPC To join the webex, go to the following link: https://goo.gl/lH1GMy To join the audio conference only, dial: US Toll: +1-415-655-0002 Access code: 666 519 501 During the next few years, there will be many opportunities for visitors and local community members to be part of the planning process. People who cannot attend the listening sessions and wish to be notified of future opportunities for involvement as the planning process continues, should email his/her name and mailing address to email@example.com. -NPS- About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 410 national parks. Visit us at www.nps.gov/zion, on Facebook www.facebook.com/zionnps, Flicker www.flickr.com/zionnps, Instagram www.instagram.com/zionnps, Twitter www.twitter.com/zionnps, and YouTube www.youtube.com/npszion.