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Industrial Tourism Impacts on National Parks

Polemic: Industrial Tourism and the National Parks, is one of the most cherished works of Edward Abbey (1927 – 1989). This is a hilarious proposal whose setting conforms to Abbey’s days as a ranger for the U.S. Park services way back in 1950s. It is one of the highly reputable works through which Abbey manifested his strong will and desire to advocate for environmental issues by criticizing unnecessary public policies on the national parks. In this text, Abbey raises an argument against the progressive automobile invasion of our National Parks. Now that the parks are facing an imminent destruction from “the industrial tourism” Abbey does not hesitate to propose a number of options which could be useful in saving the parks from further exploitation.

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As it would be observed, this article was written several years after Abbey had left his work in the Park Service where he used to work as a seasonal ranger. Abbey raises his concern on the unnecessary development plans that have been made on the parks, just what he’d personally dismiss as, “vandalism of money and resources in nothing useful but just a progressive erosion of the parks” (Abbey, p. 419) ‘Industrial Tourism’ as Abbey observes, remains the biggest threat of the parks. This is a big sector which entails gasoline retailers, owners of motels and restaurants, road contractors, federal and state engineering agencies, and the powerful automotive industry among other influential segments. Abbey’s main argument here is that, much concern or effort is taken to serve the people than it would be taken to preserve the national parks.

This proposal is directed to all Americans who harbor the will to preserve the national reserves from the imminent wrath of destruction. Sarcastically, the author is quick to assert that, “The industrial tourism, particularly the automobile shouldn’t by any chance be allowed to destroy the national parks just as it had done to the cities” (Abbey, p. 418) Abbey however, observes the increasing population to be the biggest resisting power that would deem conservation of natural resources a hopeless battle. The thought of conservation has long been forgotten in the overwhelming desire of survival and it is obviously true that, our national parks will never be safe unless effective ways to control the demographics are established. Talks regarding conservation of parks and other natural utilities cannot be easy when population growth remains constantly high.

The assumed vantage point of the author is clearly seen in his persuasive bid to propose for measures that ought to be observed towards the conservation of the parks. For instance, the writer observes that there are places such as inside the cathedrals, legislative assemblies, among other sanctums of the American culture, where automobiles are kept out permanently. In this regard, national reserves ought to be treated with similar deference for they are similarly holy. In his proposal for the conservation plan, Abbey seems to be having answers for all the questions that might arise. The compelling idea of the industrial tourism sector, to create and develop highways within parks does not make any sense and any other plans for such developments should be replaced with worthwhile programs that would be bear significant outcomes for the parks.

Having put these measures in place, things will never be the same again for our national parks. This will no doubt see tourists increase their interest in adventure in a new way and even more significant style through hiking and riding rather than being too reliant of their automobiles; a destructive way that denies them much as far as adventure is concerned. As Abbey observes, the saddle horse, the bicycle, and the foot may not be close to guarantee the comfort and the luxury offered by the automobiles, but it’s worth doing it for the sake of our environment (p. 431). With the elimination of automobiles from our parks, more space for accommodation will be formed and this actually will be an automatic way to save the parks from further destruction in the hands of industrial tourism whose managers may never get to see the value of the wilderness.

Works cited

Abbey, Edward. Desert solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness. New York: Ballantine books, 1968. Print.

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