Respond to Peers

Peer replies:
Reply to your classmates. Be constructive and professional in your responses. Each reply must be at least 175 words.

Peer #1: Devon Dalaman

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I live near Lehigh Gorge State Park in Jim Thorpe Pennsylvania. One of the features of this ecotourism destination is the Lehigh Scenic Railway that takes visitors on a 25 mile trip through the gorge. There are also biking and hiking trails along the railway and up to Glen Onoko Falls nature preserve. Pocono White Water offers guests a white water rafting adventure through the gorge on the Lehigh River. The benefits of tourists visiting the park are mainly economic as the tourists will typically shop, dine and stay over in and around many of the local businesses in Jim Thorpe which keeps the town alive as well as making way for employment opportunities. Some of the disadvantages are nuisances such as tourists taking up residential parking. Some impact the environment due to the pollution from the cars, busses, and trains used by the tourists, and the litter left behind. However, the main disadvantage to this destination involves safety. Many of the tourists who hike the trails in the park ignore the marked trail to get a better view of the gorge. This has led to multiple falls, 50 feet or more, each week and several deaths over the years. When there is an injured hiker, it can take several hours to reach them and anywhere between 20 and 50 first responders to rescue them. this not only puts the first responders at risk due to the terrain, but local departments are now short of manpower to respond to other emergency calls. With so many lives at risk, the PA Game Commission has decided to close the trail, however, the signs marking the trail closed, and the threat of citations and fines have not stopped some from taking the risk, and when someone gets hurt and calls 911, our people are always going to respond to try and save a life.

 

Peer #2: Tiara Belt

Ecotourism in Front Royal Virginia.

Ecotourism that occurs in the Warren County, Front Royal Virginia community is the Shenandoah National Park. The Shenandoah National Park is easily accessible from I-66 and I-81 and is about 70 miles west of Washington, D.C. The park has several access points to the Appalachian Trail and the George Washington National Forest is minutes away. Shenandoah Park offers a variety of outdoor skills such as mountain biking, running, paddling, rope climbing, and orienteering. Felicia Hart the Director of Community Development and Tourism indicates a number of events that occur in the Shenandoah National Park these events are Shenandoah Tough a 300-mile mountain bike race that starts around September and is 40 to 50 hours long. The new Greenway, which was opened on Arbor Day in April, Greenway is about 4 miles long, it runs from Main Street to Luray Avenue, then down to South Fork of the Shenandoah River. The walkway tour begins at the train station on Main Street and loops around and ends back at the train station on Main Street. Paddling is a summer event that happens around June the tourist enjoys floating and fishing on the calm serene river. There are about a dozen wineries and breweries in Front Royal, Va. Plus it attracts tourists to stop at the Blue Ridge Whiskey/Wine loop a self-guided tour of about a dozen wineries and distilleries that surround the Shenandoah National Park. Lastly, there is a Skyline Caverns that was discovered in 1937. An hour tour with a knowledgeable guide to see incredible rock formations and subterranean colors.

What are the benefits of ecotourism in Shenandoah National Park?

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 1.26 million visitors who come to Shenandoah National Park in 2018 spent 87 million dollars in communities near the park. The spending supported 1,077 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of 116 million dollars. Lodging expenses account for the largest share of visitors spent 4 billion dollars in 2018. Food expenses are the second-largest spending area and visitors spent 4 billion dollars in restaurants and bars and another 1.4 billion at grocery and convenience stores. The lodging supported 58,000 jobs and more than 61, 000 jobs in restaurants.

What are some of the disadvantages of ecotourism in Front Royal, Va.?

An associate professor Tom Scanlon has been addressing the issue of water quality in the Shenandoah National Park. Tom Scanlon studied the mercury contamination in streams in the Park. In the United States, coal-burning power plants are the main source of mercury contamination, but people have exposed to mercury contamination a neurotoxin not by breathing it in but by ingesting it when they consume the fish or shellfish that come from the Shenandoah River. Tom Scanlon’s goal is to shed light on the sequence of events that moves mercury from the air to the soil or vegetation and then into the streams where it enters the food chain.

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