• Outdoors Outdoors

Frustrated hiker calls out fellow parkgoer for ignoring rules at national park: 'People feel so entitled these days'

"This person really likes breaking laws and disrespecting National Parks."

"This person really likes breaking laws and disrespecting National Parks."

Photo Credit: Instagram

When we spend time in a national park, we enter into a social contract with those around us that we will abide by the rules and regulations.

Some people care more about this social contract than others. 

A parkgoer shared a video they took with the Tourons of National Parks Instagram account (@touronsofnationalparks). In the clip, a woman is flying a drone while managing a leashed dog at Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. She is seen navigating the drone high up within the beautiful red canyons, occasionally stepping around her dog's leash or pulling it toward her. 

"Double whammy from Bryce," the video is captioned. "When I passed her on trail I let her know about the rules for drones and dogs but she didn't care."

According to more information in the post's caption, the National Park Service has banned the use of drones in national parks since 2014 because of safety concerns for tourists, staff, and wildlife. And in Bryce Canyon National Park, dogs are only permitted on paved roads, as they can chase, scare, or spread disease to wildlife, as well as leave behind a "predator" scent that disrupts the native animals. 

While the tourist may not have been aware of the rules before receiving the warning, the behavior still could have negatively impacted the surrounding wildlife. The privilege of witnessing the natural world firsthand is paramount to our future here on Earth, because climate awareness begins with respect for nature. But increased interactions between humans and nature should be about understanding and appreciation, not endangerment

Recklessness from tourists can also inhibit the connection that others might be trying to have with nature. Watching these events unfold can be stressful for bystanders and potentially for the park rangers whose job is to protect the wildlife in the park. 

Many individuals took to the comments section of the video to vent about the tourist's behavior. 

"A dog and a drone," one person said in apparent disbelief. "This person really likes breaking laws and disrespecting National Parks." 

"People feel so entitled these days," another commented. "But definitely need to ramp up the ability/funding for rangers to enforce the rules in the parks."

While it's unclear whether the woman initially intended to discard the rules or not, the situation provides a reminder that it's smart to do a little research before exploring nature.

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