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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Going, going, gone?

  • Author: Diane Calamar Okonek
    | Opinion
  • Updated: September 12, 2019
  • Published September 12, 2019

Last week, I spent three nights tent camping in Denali National Park at Teklanika Campground. I hate to say it, but it was one of the most miserable campground experiences of my lifelong use of our National Parks. I’ll tell you why in one word: noise.

For six hours of the prime campground hours, RV generators roared and vibrated at every point of the compass, some only 25 feet away. All night long, at random times, their heating systems clicked on and reverberated throughout the campground. I cooked dinner at the picnic table with earplugs in. I slept (poorly) with ear plugs in. I had coffee in the morning with earplugs in. Still, the vibration and noise of the generators ruined my trip, and I wasn’t alone. Tent campers from all over the world couldn’t believe the noise level.

Peace and quiet. One would think if you could find it anywhere in America, it would be in a National Park campground that requires a special permit. Think again. The quiet is going, going — gone?

Hey, Denali National Park managers, there are solutions. Do your job, as described in the first sentence of the NPS Mission Statement: “The National Park Service preserves unimpaired the natural and cultural resources…” There is nothing more natural than the sounds of nature.

— Diane Calamar Okonek


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