Denali Park Planning
Denali National Park and Preserve
P.O. Box 9
Denali Park, AK 99755 Sept. 30, 2011
Please accept this letter as comment by the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition (AQRC) on the Denali Park Road Draft Vehicle Management Plan and EIS.
AQRC is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of Alaskans to quiet places for the benefit of public land users, home and cabin owners, communities, businesses, wildlife, visitors, and future generations. We believe that natural quiet and natural sounds should be recognized by public land managers as critical resources to be protected just as any other natural resources such as wildlife and their habitat are protected. Natural quiet is an essential component of wild habitat.
Denali National Park is the premier National Park in Alaska and perhaps the nation. It should represent the best in resource management that our nation has to offer. We believe that protection of the resource must supersede visitor interest and desires because visitor demands will always increase whereas the resource is finite. We want our great grandchildren to have DNP as it is, even if (especially if) they have to stand in line to appreciate it. AQRC supports efforts to control visitor noise and impacts on wildlife, wherever possible.
We have three specific requests:
Keep a numerical ceiling on vehicles. AQRC believes that the 10,512 numerical vehicle limit is essential regardless of what elements of the alternatives are adopted. Although there are many good ideas in the Plan, safeguards against political and corporate pressures are dangerously weakened without a numerical limit. Todayâ€™s park administration cannot guarantee the responses of tomorrowâ€™s administration to the enormous pressures they will have to face from commercial giants and also politicians with alternate visions of park use.
Continue to explore the possibility of quiet electric buses and trains.
Keep it simple. The proposed alternatives are time and money intensive. In todayâ€™s economy, NP funds should continue to be used for habitat protection and study. A complicated road vehicle plan is doomed to eventually drain funds from backcountry protection.
Thank you for your work in protecting our national parks and for the opportunity to comment.
Member of the Board of Directors of the Alaska Quiet Rights Coalition