Dear Editor:

I tried to enter Arches National Park on Saturday, May 30, and was turned away because “all the parking lots are full.” So I entered Arches National Park at Willow Springs to see for myself and took videos of the empty to about half-occupied parking lots.

There is no overcrowding at Arches National Park. In fact, there is no crowding at all.

Decide for yourself. Watch the videos. Go to YouTube and search “arches national park 30 may 2020” or use this link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDvwzlikbTTHLkJz6Q_Fsaw

During these unprecedented times, people need the sanctuaries of our National Parks to nourish our souls and lift our spirits. People seeking refuge in the beauty and comfort of nature should find safe haven in our National Parks.

When Teddy Roosevelt spoke at Yellowstone he reminded people of the essential democratic principle embodied by the parks; they were created "for the benefit and enjoyment of the people." In a time of fear and health concerns, there is nothing more healthy for people than to get out into the vast expanses of nature to enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air, and the awe-inspiring beauty. There is more than enough room for all who arrive at our doorstep in the 119 square miles of Arches National Park.

"Our National Parks embody a radical idea, as uniquely American as the Declaration of Independence… It is a truly democratic idea, that the magnificent wonders of the land should be available not to a privileged few, but to everyone," as said in the National Parks documentary by PBS.

Let us resolve to do everything we can to keep our National Parks open and available to all citizens and visitors. Our health and spiritual wellbeing depend upon it. Mother Earth will sustain us through these challenging times.

Michael Liss

Moab, UT