SPRINGDALE, Washington County — Zion National Park is hosting a series of public meetings to look for ways to improve visitor experiences at Zion while protecting the park's fundamental resources and values.
Visitation to the park in 2010 was 2.68 million. That figure rose to 3.66 million in 2015, and it may exceed 4 million in 2016. This increased visitation has resulted in overcapacity issues on park shuttle buses, trails, and at key destinations and facilities, particularly in the narrow Zion Canyon corridor.
In May, the park held a series of meetings to gather suggestions on issues related to park visitation. Those observations were used to develop possible management strategies that the park could use to help balance visitor use and resource protection. Now, during the scoping phase of the process, the public is again encouraged to comment on potential management strategies.
The meetings will be held at the following times and locations:
• Monday, Oct. 24, 5-7 p.m. PST, UNLV Student Union Building, Room 205, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas.
• Tuesday, Oct. 25, 5-7 p.m., Hurricane Community Center, Room 107, 63 S. 100 West, Hurricane.
• Wednesday, Oct. 26, noon-2 p.m., Zion Lodge Auditorium, Zion Canyon Scenic Drive, Zion National Park.
• Wednesday, Oct. 26, 5-7 p.m., Canyon Community Center, 126 Lion Blvd., Springdale.
• Thursday, Oct. 27, 5-7 p.m., Southern Utah University Sharwan Smith Student Center, Cedar Breaks Room 141, Cedar City. Participants should park in lot A10 on 200 South between 500 and 700 West
• Friday, Oct. 28, 5-7 p.m., Salt Lake City Marriott University Park Hotel, Aspen Meeting Room, fifth floor, 480 Wakara Way.
• Tuesday, Nov. 1, 5-7 p.m., Kanab City Library, Multipurpose Room, 374 N. Main.
For those who cannot attend the meetings, the National Park Service will host a webinar on Monday, Oct. 31, noon-1:30 p.m. The webinar will be open to the first 100 participants that register and will include a formal presentation describing the plan and possible management strategies followed by a question-and-answer session. Register for the webinar at nationalparkserviceevents.webex.com. The event number is 660 176 631.
In addition, the public is encouraged to comment on the potential management strategies that are being considered. Comments may be submitted on the National Park Services’ Planning, Environment and Public Comment website at parkplanning.nps.gov/zion. Comments will be taken Sunday, Oct. 23 through Wednesday, Nov. 23