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Posted Tue Apr 20 2010: from Greenwire:
Iconic Status Can't Spare Grand Canyon From Myriad Threats
From the rim, the Grand Canyon, 15 miles wide at its most expansive and a mile deep, looks like one of the wildest, most timeless places on earth... But a closer look reveals a canyon ecosystem that has been deeply altered by human forces. And today, the park is facing an unprecedented convergence of threats, the long-term effects of which are largely unknown... But as more and more people have followed Roosevelt's advice -- about 4.5 million tourists visit the Grand Canyon each year, compared to about 44,000 in 1918, the year Congress elevated the monument to national park status -- pressures on the unique environment have increased in ways Roosevelt likely could not have foreseen. A major upstream dam now regulates the Colorado River's flow through the park and has rendered the river unnaturally clear and cool. And invasive species like salt cedar and trout are crowding out native species such as willow and the endangered humpback chub.
[Read more stories about: anthropogenic change, capitalist greed, ecosystem interrelationships, invasive species, koyaanisqatsi]

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'Doc Jim says:
Tourists: the most invasive species of all.

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