WASHINGTON, D.C. — From Acadia to Yellowstone, America’s national parks are facing a different kind of danger — people may love them too much.
That’s according to Maine’s U.S. Sen. Angus King, who is the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on National Parks.
On Wednesday, King convened a hearing to examine the effects of overcrowding in parks across the country.
He testified many of the national parks are having a record-breaking year, even as international visitation is down.
King said while that means more people are enjoying them, there is a downside.
“We must recognize that overcrowding in the parks itself can degrade the natural resources and wildlife that these units were designed to protect,” King said.
“We can accidentally love our parks to death. Overcrowding can also significantly harm the visitor experience and strain the resources in gateway communities,” he said.
Witnesses testified on different ways that might help mitigate the effects of overcrowding without limiting access.
Those included increasing staff, reservation systems for top attractions, and reducing vehicle traffic.