To the editor: In these times of social and political unrest I find myself fighting the sadness that comes with being unable to visit family and friends, travel or do things that I enjoy most or photograph animals to raise my spirits. If only there was a national park with world-class wildlife nearby to enjoy.
If you suggest Denali National Park as such a place, don’t be misled. The Park Service is only interested in appearing to have concern for the public in our time of need instead of really providing access to the park that is supposedly owned by us all.
The Park Service will reply, “We have a few, very few, buses,” something my doctor advises against, or they will say they allowed a commercial operation to drive their vehicles into the park at the small fee of almost $900 per trip. Finally they have five weekends where they will allow some vehicles into the park. I’ve tried that on every day it’s been offered so far. I’m online within seconds of the opening only to be denied as everything is booked up.
It seems only those with no fear of their health, deep pockets or very fast internet speeds will be allowed into the park, and unfortunately I don’t fit any of those descriptions. It seems the park is only interested in supporting those commercial operations at the end of the park and keeping most of the rest of us out. Even if you get to take any of the opportunities they allow, you can only go as far as the Eielson Visitor Center. Wonder Lake is out of bounds.
I can only dream of a time when the park’s administration would stand up for the local people who in these times of uncertainty need the respite the park could offer.
So again, if only there was a national park with world-class wildlife to view nearby to help ease my troubled mind.