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House hearing airs different views on NP overcrowding

Proposals ranging from no barriers to visitation in the National Park System to better management of visitors entering and exploring parks were floated Tuesday during a House subcommittee hearing on how to deal with overcrowded parks, but no consensus materialized and whether the issue will be revisited in the next Congress remains to be seen.

The 90-minute hearing raised many of the issues facing visitors to the park system: Near-impossible odds of obtaining camping reservations through, crowded areas in the parks, and occasionally long lines backed up behind entrance stations. Staffing shortages in the parks also were mentioned as part of the problem when it comes to managing the crowds, and the park system's ongoing maintenance backlog also was cited as an impediment to visitation.

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