On February 14, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill which, among other opportunities, will protect the natural soundscapes and overall park experience for visitors to Crater Lake National Park. This is an effort that NPCA has supported for several years now, as it protects the park from the impact of disruptive sight-seeing helicopter air tours.
Visitors in helicopters and airplanes enjoy staggering views, but the drone of their engines robs far more visitors of the serenity that so many of us seek from our national parks. Park Superintendent Craig Ackerman now has the power to prohibit scenic helicopter flights in the park, retaining the tranquility found in one of the most serene settings in the world.
To make this victory possible, NPCA built public support for quiet skies and worked closely with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), who crafted the amendment’s language. “I see this as a first step in keeping our national parks free of noise pollution that can ruin visitors’ experience of our national treasures,” Wyden said of the amendment. “From today on, the precious quiet of Crater Lake will be something future generations can count on as much as we do today.”
Crater Lake is an international gem, with one of planet’s deepest lakes. Visitors come from around the world to see the park’s crystal clear waters, view the area wildlife, and lose themselves in the park’s magnificent, tranquil setting. Experiencing the park’s beauty with negligible human caused noise is an important part of this experience not only to visitors seeking a natural park experience, but also to the area businesses which market the park as an opportunity to escape the racket of urban life.