Your Fee Dollars at Work
Before the Zion National Park Shuttle System, made possible partially by visitor fees, was incorporated in 1999, parking and pollution were a mess
Who doesn’t have Zion National Park in their top spots to visit before it’s too late? Yearly, the 229-square-mile park with four different life zones (desert, riparian, woodland and coniferous forest) sees more than 2.4 million visitor a year—and counting.
And each and every one of those visitors enjoys the fruit of the fees paid by visitors before him or her.
How? Before the Zion National Park shuttle service was first employed in 1999, car traffic in Zion was out of control. “There were more cars coming to Zion than there were parking spots,” says park spokesperson, David Eaker. “The pollution, noise, cars idling waiting for spots to open up, even some heated exchanges was incredible. It defeated the purpose of visiting a national park.”
Finally, before the turn of the millennium, park managers began the process of restricting personal vehicle use and commercial buses in the busiest section of the park to make room for their new, propane-fueled shuttle bus system, funded by both government subsidies and park fees.
Now the park uses a clean and organized way to get Zion-goers where they want to be.
“The shuttle makes a remarkable difference in the park,” says Eaker. “People can now experience the canyon on a level that’s much more natural, quieter and unpolluted.”
Zion National Park is committed to making its operations sustainable in order to conserve the natural wonders within its borders and the natural resources that extend beyond its borders and benefit us all. One way Zion is demonstrating leadership is by tracking and analyzing its environmental impacts. Zion is working to improve the way it uses energy, the types of products and materials it purchases, and the kinds of materials it recycles.