The National Park Service (NPS) is preparing a draft Visitor Use Management Plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) for Zion National Park, aimed at providing sustainable visitor access, protecting park resources, enhancing visitor experiences, and ensuring the safety of both visitors and staff. Initiated in 2016, the planning process is now updating preliminary management alternatives with the goal of releasing a draft plan and EA in the winter of 2024/2025.

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Jeff Bradybaugh, Zion National Park Superintendent, emphasized the importance of this planning effort, stating in a press release, “To resolve current issues and for future management success this planning effort is fundamental to meeting the park’s mission. The National Park Service’s mandate is to conserve the park’s resources in perpetuity and provide safe and meaningful experiences for park visitors. This planning effort builds on past successes and will help ensure we continue to fulfill our mission in the future.”

NPS / Jonathan Shafer
NPS / Jonathan Shafer
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The need for this plan has become increasingly urgent due to significant changes in visitation patterns. Visits to Zion National Park have nearly doubled from 2.7 million in 2010 to 5 million in 2021. To address these changes, park staff have collected data on visitor use levels and patterns, piloted potential management strategies, and engaged with stakeholders and the public to better understand their experiences and preferences.

This collected information is being used to analyze potential strategies to manage congestion and crowding, ensuring sustainable park operations that protect resources while providing the best possible experiences for visitors. The ongoing planning process and evaluated strategies are detailed on the NPS website, where the public can stay informed.

National Park Service
National Park Service
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The NPS eagerly anticipates public feedback when the draft plan and EA are released, offering engagement opportunities in local communities and virtually to hear directly from visitors, stakeholders, and surrounding communities.

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