In a recent Instagram video that highlights the risky behavior of some visitors in national parks, concerns are raised about the actions of certain tourists who venture into off-limits areas.
The video, posted on the Tourons of National Parks (@touronsofnationalparks) Instagram page, depicts a woman with two children in Sequoia National Park. The footage captures the trio ducking under safety guardrails and walking along rocky edges, disregarding established safety measures.
Such guardrails serve a crucial purpose in national parks like Sequoia, as they are essential for preserving certain areas and preventing damage from foot traffic. Some regions within these parks may contain delicate plant life or sensitive environments that require protection from external pressures. Ignoring these off-limit areas not only poses ecological risks but also endangers the safety of tourists who might slip or fall.
Watch the video:
National parks sometimes designate areas as off-limits to safeguard the species that inhabit them. In a notable case in 2022, the National Parks Service closed off access to Hyperion, the world’s tallest living tree, after hikers and travelers trampled the ground in Redwoods National Parks to see the magnificent tree. This influx of tourists left behind human waste and litter, which posed environmental challenges for wildlife and other species in the park.
Instagram users who viewed the video expressed shock at the woman’s daring actions and her apparent disregard for the safety of her young children. Some users even raised concerns of potential child endangerment. Others pointed out that such behavior could perpetuate a cycle of entitlement and disrespect for rules and nature.
Suggestions from users included increased policing of these areas or imposing fines to discourage tourists from taking risks with their safety. What can the National Park Service do to limit this type of behavior?