The vast majority of national park visitors say a chance to get away from unwanted noise is an important part of their park experience. Photo courtesy of NPS.
The National Park Service has been quietly working for eight years to study whether human-caused noise from traffic, park buildings and recreational equipment, such as Jet Skis or all-terrain vehicles, diminishes the enjoyment of the tens of thousands of visitors to the nation's most prized parks each year. The Park Service is also studying the effects of noise on the abundance of wildlife at the parks.
The result of all this work will slowly begin rolling out over the next few years, altering in fundamental ways how the National Park Service manages parks across the country. The goal is to have sound management plans that account for noise pollution at each park.