The Grand Canyon is one of the world’s most iconic places. A stunning slash in the earth where we can go to experience the power of nature and hear ― the sound of helicopter blades and airplane engines?
Okay, so maybe this last part wasn’t quite what you had in mind. But over 90,000 commercial air tours buzz the Grand Canyon every year, and the industry is pushing hard to keep that number growing.
Click here to listen to the sound of a helicopter flying over Yosemite National Park. Now click here if you think such sounds shouldn't dominate the Grand Canyon experience.
The noise from these tours takes a heavy toll on the 91 percent of us who visit national parks in order to experience the sounds of nature― the wind in your ears and the birds calling.
But now we have an opportunity once again to make nature the soundtrack of every visit to the Grand Canyon. Finally, 24 years after Congress directed, the National Park Service is proposing to partially restore natural quiet to much of the park.
We have until June 20 to comment on its plan to manage air tours so that they occur in the right places and at the right times to protect everyone’s experience. The draft management plan takes some steps in the right direction, but the Park Service needs your support to make it stronger, especially in the face of pressure from commercial air tour operators.