According to writer Kevin Fedarko and photographer Pete McBride, Grand Canyon National Park is under siege on many fronts by commercial interests. Miners, developers, and tour operators are threatening not only the park experience, but also the very biotic communities and indigenous peoples who call Grand Canyon home.
Fedarko and McBride are in the process of hiking the length of the canyon in several installments. They carved out time between their exploits to publish a story in a recent issue of National Geographic. Besides recounting the hardships and rewards of their journey, one that has only been completed by a handful of people, the two shed light on the mounting list of manmade threats to this pristine wilderness. From contaminating water sources to visual and auditory assaults by light pollution, unchecked overflights, and a rim-to-river tram, the concerns are many.
Some readers might recognize Fedarko from his masterful book, “The Emerald Mile,” which was published in 2013. In that compelling volume, he tackled mankind’s fascination with, and exploration of, the world-class backcountry of Grand Canyon. He also cataloged a number of high-profile attempts, successful and otherwise, to exploit and manipulate the landscape for profit.
The National Geographic article makes for worthy follow-up reading for those following Kevin’s work, and a great primer for Grand Canyon enthusiasts and activists grappling with the myriad issues that affect the future of this iconic destination.
Here’s a link to read the article online: Are We Losing the Grand Canyon?