Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

National Parks to Start Partial Reopening

Popular
Visitors to Yellowstone National Park at the view point overlooking Mammoth Hot Springs. hugh rhine / CC BY 2.0

If you're looking to get outside and enjoy the remarkable vistas that the U.S. national parks offer, you may be in luck. Some national parks are planning a phased reopening.


Two of the nation's most popular national parks, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon, are starting to allow visitors. Yellowstone will reopen on a limited basis, starting on Monday, May 18. Yellowstone has been closed to visitors since March 24, according to CNN.

That has not stopped people from visiting anyway. On Tuesday, a woman suffered burns after sneaking into the park and falling into a thermal pool while backing up to take photographs of the Old Faithful geyser, as The Associated Press reported.

Wyoming asked to have the park reopen, so the first phase of reopening will only allow admission to entrance gates in Wyoming and access to the park's southern loop. Entrances in Montana will remain closed, as CNN reported.

"I would prefer it's not just a light switch and the park is open and we get inundated and overwhelmed and aren't able to handle it," said Cam Sholly, the park's superintendent, as The Associated Press reported.

Sholly added that a massive amount of signage will encourage social distancing and the public's behavior will help determine when the park can open fully.

According to CNN, Grand Canyon National Park will reopen the South Rim South Entrance from May 15-18. The entrance will allow incoming traffic to enter for daytime access from 6 to 10 a.m. Certain viewpoints, picnic areas and restrooms will be open for use. However, the South Rim's East Entrance, Desert View, Grand Canyon Village and a number of trails will remain closed.

"This initial reopening phase will increase access to our public lands in a responsible way by offering the main feature of the park for the public, the view of the canyon, while reducing the potential exposure of COVID-19 to our nearly 2,500 residents," Grand Canyon National Park superintendent Ed Keable said in a press release, as USA TODAY reported.

In Utah, national parks will reopen in phases. Zion, Utah's most popular national park, will reopen Wednesday, but shuttle buses to some of the park's most popular attractions will remain closed. Campgrounds and wilderness hikes that require permits will also remain closed, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Arches and Canyonlands will reopen on May 29 with almost all trails, roads and restrooms available to the public. However, the visitor center will remain closed, as will Arches Fiery Furnace, a popular hike.

"That trail is so narrow in places that it is impossible for us to keep people safe in there," said Angie Richman, the parks' chief of interpretation, noting that it would be impossible for visitors to socially distance, as The Salt Lake Tribune reported. "We don't know when we will be able to reopen it."

In Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park will start to reopen on May 27. Businesses in Estes Park, the town that borders the park, are using the two-week notice to disinfect and put protocols in place for operating while maintaining social distance. The downtown shopping district even requires mask wearing outside, as CBS News Denver reported.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Aerial picture showing fires burning in Brazil's Amazon rainforest on August 23, 2019. Carl de Souza / AFP / Getty Images

The number of forest fires in Brazil's Amazon rainforest increased 28% in July in comparison to last year, the country's National Institute for Space Research reported Saturday.

Read More Show Less
A plane drops fire retardant over a home as the Apple Fire burns during the coronavirus pandemic on Aug. 1, 2020 in Cherry Valley, California. Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Southern California's first major wildfire this year has devoured more than 20,000 acres since Friday and forced thousands to flee their homes in the midst of a pandemic.

Read More Show Less
Water trickles down a hillside among moss next to the entrance to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault during a summer heat wave as mountains behind stand devoid of snow on Svalbard archipelago on July 29 in Longyearbyen, Norway. Sean Gallup / Getty Images

By Johnny Wood

What better place to build a Doomsday Vault than the remote, snow-covered islands of Norway's Arctic Svalbard? Sitting around 1,000 kilometers from the North Pole, the facility is buried in permafrost to protect the precious seed samples housed there. But a freak heatwave is causing the region's ice to melt.

Read More Show Less
Tens of thousands of people attend a Black Lives Matter protest which was mainly peaceful on June 6 in London, United Kingdom. Phil Clarke Hill / In Pictures / Getty Images

As climate activists, we can't fight the climate crisis without considering the systemic impacts that environmental racism and White supremacy have on the frontline communities most affected by pollution and our warming world.

Read More Show Less
Whooping cranes fly in Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Decatur, Alabama. There were only 48 whooping cranes in the country when the Endangered Species Act was passed in 1973, and thanks to the law's protections there are now over 600. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Eoin Higgins

Environmental groups on Friday condemned the announcement of a new rule proposed by President Donald Trump that would further weaken the Endangered Species Act by making it easier to destroy habitats vulnerable species rely on for survival.

Read More Show Less
Students at the "Japon" public school number 72 attend class during the first day of the final phase of the gradual process to reopen schools on June 28 in Montevideo, Uruguay. Ernesto Ryan / Getty Images

By Bob Spires

As American school officials debate when it will be safe for schoolchildren to return to classrooms, looking abroad may offer insights. Nearly every country in the world shuttered their schools early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have since sent students back to class, with varying degrees of success.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Tara Moore / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Danielle Nierenberg and Maya Osman-Krinsky

In the United States, over 2,000 acres of agricultural land are sold every day for housing or commercial development, according to the American Farmland Trust. This has especially affected Black farmers who, since 1920, have seen nearly a 90 percent decline in land ownership, according to the U.S. Census.

Read More Show Less