The drumbeat is starting to protect the Grand Canyon…
but is this song and dance a bit different?


Why is this news?

Ok… stay with me… I know, it’s the Grand Canyon and all. I get the importance and significance. That’s not what I mean.

A recap first.

The Grand Canyon is in trouble. And the National Parks Conservation Association wants us to know about it. Now… right off the bat… I think it’s pretty fair to say that when the “National Parks Conservation Association” is telling you about a study that says the future and beauty of a national park is in grave danger, you should consider the source. I’m not saying they’re wrong… just that they might have a set of pom-poms ready and a seat picked out on one specific side as the big debate approaches.

To paraphrase the article, threats from outside the park: air pollution and water pollution (such as from mining operations up river). And inside the park: site specific tours (air pollution and noise from planes overhead).

Now… when you consider all sorts of things, I really wonder why the noting of the Grand Canyon itself is so important.

  • Haven’t we seen articles about how water supplies are being destroyed or at least compromised by waste and tainted runoff in all sorts of places? Sure we have. (There are those great ones where they talk about the fields of corn, where the corn is being grown for more efficient and environmentally friendly fuel options, and yet the agriculture is causing runoffs into water. And then there are the ones where the bottled water actually has drugs in it from runoff. Beautiful.)
  • Haven’t we seen the garbage patches in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans… or the tires dumped to create artificial reefs?
  • Haven’t we seen planes, trains and automobiles create all sorts of environmental havoc in big cities?

I mean… let’s control the list and stop here, because it could go on forever. But wastewater, air pollution and noise… oh my! Seems to me that Grand Canyon or not, this is hardly a new road folks.

And yet, I decided to read the full article. And… the cynic in me wavered. (Just a little bit.)

Apparently this report mentions how funding for the parks has led to neglect, such as poorly maintained roads and trails. Also, that the lack of funding has made it difficult to properly staff the parks.

The report goes on to talk about how changes along the Colorado River have hit the canyon area… with specifics about native wildlife, erosion concerns, and climate changes that aren’t being attributed to global warming.

Have I read the actual report? No, I haven’t. But I have to say… as someone that likes to ask questions when people start raising the alarms… with a reading of information from an article, this one has me impressed. There seem to be specifics… and not specifics that say it hasn’t been this warm in 5,000 years, must be the cars we drive.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… we can all treat the planet better. Clean up our trash… at least try to recycle… make some small efforts. And in this case, it does seem that many considerations are being thrown out the window, and a direct line of cause and effect is being established. People and companies are behaving in a way that damages the area.

And that may just be worthy of our attention. (Well… ok… it is worthy of our attention. But this might not be an opportunistic rant delivered with slides of polar bears.)

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at