Last week, after backpacking and dayhiking in the Grand Canyon, Kathy and I each submitted visitor-comment forms at the National Park Headquarters. Here’s what we said:
URGENT: STOP ALL FLYOVERS
We backpacked last week down the Hermit Trail, camped at Monument and Boucher creeks, then hiked up and out via the Boucher trail. It was distressing, annoying and maddening that all kinds of flights are allowed over the Grand Canyon. And it’s wrong that these flights are concentrated on the stupendous section of the canyon that we hiked. All flights should be banned. The noise from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ruins the wilderness aural quality. The noise does not enable hikers to shed civilization and go deeper inside themselves to calmness or elevated thinking. People who cannot hike, or those who chose not to hike, can see plenty of the Grand Canyon from all the wonderful roadside viewpoints the Park has created and maintains. And walking the Rim Trail is a superb way for anyone—without exerting much energy, and without making any noise—to appreciate the depth, vastness and beauty of the Grand Canyon. My husband and I, who have hiked in many of the world’s outstanding wilderness areas, believe one cannot truly experience the Grand Canyon from the air. Please restore the sanctity of the Grand Canyon by stopping all scenic flyovers.
– Kathy Copeland
THE SCENIC FLIGHTS MUST STOP
Though I currently live in Canada, I’m a U.S. citizen. I’ve backpacked in the Grand Canyon more than a dozen times. My concern is that you have already ruined the canyon soundscape by allowing scenic flights (fixed wing and helicopter). The noise over the Hermit and Boucher trails is nearly constant and infuriatingly loud. You would not allow anyone to dump garbage over the rim into the canyon. But you are currently allowing aircraft to dump audible garbage into the canyon. The aural atmosphere in the canyon is no less important than the visual atmosphere and should be protected with equal vigilance. Stop the flights. BAN THEM. Until you do so, the National Park Service will have failed to fulfill its mandate to preserve the Grand Canyon.
– Craig Copeland
YOU TOO CAN INFLUENCE UPCOMING DECISIONS REGARDING SOUNDSCAPES AND OVERFLIGHTS AT GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK. Discussions are in progress. Decisions are imminent. Gopaul Noojibail is currently working on the Park’s overflight plan. You can reach him by phone at 928-638-7096 or by email at <firstname.lastname@example.org>. We urge you to submit your comments now.