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News ZION VUMP planning process (2016 - 2018)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by hank moon, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

    ZION Visitor Use Management Plan (VUMP) and EA

    Hi folks, the Zion VUMP process has just reached another step in the planning process: Public review of preliminary alternatives. Please read up, reflect, discuss and take part in this important public review and comment phase. Three alternatives (A, B, C) have been developed, briefly summarized as follows:

    A - No change to the way the park is currently managed
    B - Advance reservations to be required for general frontcountry access
    C - Advance reservations to be required for access to specific frontcountry hikes (e.g. Narrows, Angel's landing) and for any day-use wilderness hikes.

    Note: At this posting, I am unsure of the full implications of alternatives B and C regarding canyoneering, especially canyoneering routes that traverse multiple use zones (i.e. routes that start in the backcountry and end in the frontcountry, etc.).

    Public review and comment begins July 17, 2017 and lasts through August 14, 2017.


    Visitation to Zion National Park has been increasing for decades, but especially significant increases have been experienced in the last few years. In 2015, 3,662,220 people visited the park, which was 450,624 more visitors than in 2014 which was also a record year. The peak season in the park has now extended into early spring and late fall. During the height of the summer season it is now common for visitors to wait in long lines to enter the park and board the park shuttle. Parking is routinely full in the park by 9:30 a.m. daily which adds to the parking congestion in Springdale. This increase in visitation stresses park infrastructure, can degrade natural and cultural resources, and adversely affects the visitors' park experience.

    In order to address these issues the park is beginning a Visitor Use Management (VUM) planning process. Through the VUM process, park managers will devise measures to be taken that provide an enjoyable and safe visitor experience while protecting the park's fundamental resources and values. Various measures will be tested and important information collected during the planning process to help inform the Plan.

    The plan will focus on areas where the issues are most acute, principally the park's front country areas, especially in Zion Canyon. However, due to the influence of any changes in the management of front country areas, the plan will need to analyze impacts associated with gateway communities and the park's wilderness areas.

    This collaborative process will include park partners; visitors; local, state, and federal agencies and governments; and the public. Continue to check this site throughout the process for planning updates for updates and how you can be involved.

    Contact Information
    Kezia Nielsen


    Screenshot 2017-07-14 11.55.29.

    Documents link (several of which are attached below):


    Related CC discussion:

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
    Rapterman likes this.
  2. deathtointernet


    A very good process to take note of and be involved in. I have been following some of this for a time as things have taken shape. Lots of concerns here. I have heard from park officials in regards to past queries that canyoneering permits would not be affected by quotas for the park, but I seriously question how true that is. In the last few years we have seen a number of instances in which canyons that would previously only require a permit for themselves now require multiple permits to cover potential exits (i.e. Englestead requiring an Orderville pass, Checkerboard requiring a Narrows day use pass, etc.). Perhaps the reservation system they are talking about would consider canyoneering permits to cover a reservation... BUT this has not been the Park Service's recent history. It could also be a potential form of abuse... as in, if word got out that canyoneering permits allowed access to the park on otherwise closed days, one could see regular visitors getting permits for canyons they have no intention of descending if that allowed them to get into the park.

    The whole process is a little worrisome for those of us living close by and who think of the park as our home. They have talked about closing off *all* areas of the park, not simply the main canyon, because of worries that closing just the Scenic Drive would push too many people into other places. They have talked about making it illegal to park along the Kolob Terrace Road without a permit, for instance. I myself can go to the park any day of the year, no matter the holiday, and have a hike or canyon entirely to myself, you just have to pick the right spots, but that will not matter under some of the options they are considering. One can also envision something very similar to what happened to the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon... that is, tour companies that bus tourists into and through the park, in particular those that cater to foreign visitors who might have to plan their trips months, even a year in advance, will insist that they have to have preferential access to permits in advance to be able to run their businesses, in the end making non-commercial access to the park extremely difficult.

    That said, there is no doubt in my mind that there is a problem in Zion. The crowds are enormous, and their impact, especially in the main canyon is tremendous. What's the more the park is simply completely unable to manage these size of crowds due to the severe budget cuts and a complete lack of personnel. People park anywhere, poach canyons, throw rocks, bring their dogs up the Narrows, place graffiti and vandalize petroglyphs simply because there is the sense that there is no one to stop them and no consequences. I've seen it myself. It's not pleasant. I don't know if there's any easy answers, but I encourage everyone to chime in. It will be a lot better to work together on it now then to complain about the end result once it is done and over with!
  3. ratagonia


    Mount Carmel, Utah
    TEN Hours left to comment. On Line comments seem to be working again.

    If you are wondering what the Kerfuffle is, I think the Planning process failed. The proposed plans are as thoroughly unimaginative as it is possible to be. Mayonnaise on white bread. Add restriction and bureaucracy, problem solved? Here are my comments:

    "I am completely disappointed with the plans proposed for the future of Zion National Park. I realize the problem is difficult, but the proposal to severely restrict visitor access and add a significant level of bureaucracy to the Visitor Experience is unlikely to work in ANY way to meet the Park's goals.

    If you have to put me down for one of these alternatives, put me down for Alternative A. Better than the other proposals, but still not acceptable.

    What are you thinking!??!

    Forcing the Park to return to 2001 conditions is not the answer. I cannot think of a worse way to go about dealing with the issues before the Park. Your "two" proposed "solutions" show an amazing lack of imagination, and a lack of respect for the American public. Making it DIFFICULT for citizens to access THEIR PARK is the worst possible way to deal with the crowding. This is not Disneyland, this is a PUBLIC National Park.

    I think you have totally flubbed the process, come up with the LEAST imaginative of all possible solutions, and should look not only at an actual variety of options, but also reconsider the PROCESS that results in this non-result. You should be embarassed - I know I am.

    Sincerely -

    Tom Jones
    Canyoneering USA
    Imlay Canyon Gear
    30-day a year visitor to Zion National Park"
  4. AW~


    Yeah, you'd think they would know the several solutions available. Now between leading pioneers Kim in North Korea and Maduro, I like Maduro the best.
    Like he must lower their prices in half,keep the shelves full, and stay open, or else go to jail. Dont use your 'imagination' in thinking what was going to happen when you relentlessly promoted the parks and know people return to them year after year what was going to happen. Instead let the concept of 'uptopia' guide you all your decisions. And whats baffling here is we already have been told what uptopia is. Its the RNR act, thankfully handed to us by the gurus of outdoor tourism industry..Patagonia,REI, and the "Wilderness" society. The RNR act demands the impositions of NRAS zones, which would make this go away. As it says, the ecological,historical, and scenic value of land only underpins the recreational value(which is to be prioritized and above all).

    What started this anyway? Is this about the waste Zion was delivering? I had read that something was maxed out and was in effect turning back the trucks. Not sure if someone should be arrested(Maduro style) for not allowing more waste on their city, or the problem doesnt exist since modern hikers dont generate waste(Kim Un style). Since it wasnt on a SUWA alert, its probably fake news from nazis.
  5. hank moon

    hank moon lovely ligatures

    ZION Visitation 1981-2018

    Screenshot 2018-12-04 20.34.45.

    Attached Files:

  6. Dan Ransom

    Dan Ransom Staff Member

    Salt Lake
    wow, that table is wild.
  7. Kip Marshall

    Kip Marshall Bshwakr

    If you think this chart is wild, wait until the park announces its proposal in January. No details yet but sounds worst case....
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
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