- Associated Press - Sunday, May 8, 2016

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Businesses that offer tour helicopter rides in Glacier National Park are fighting off criticism that the helicopters are making too much noise and disturbing visitors, saying noise pollution is kept to a minimum and not disturbing the wildlife and tranquility of one of the jewels of the national park system.

Mary McClelland said she is sending a letter to federal officials saying the helicopters are a nuisance and asking their help getting the tour helicopters grounded.

“It makes you want to turn it off, doesn’t it?” McClelland said. “That’s sort of the point, because when you’re there, you can’t turn it off.”

The tour company operators disagree.

“Fifteen seconds after we go over, you’d never know we were there,” says Jim Kruger, owner of Kruger Helicop-Tours. “When they ban Harley Davidson motorcycles, they can talk to me. Have you ever heard a group of them going up Going-to-the-Sun Road?”

McClelland said helicopters should only be used for rescue, research or park administration.

The helicopter tour operators say they also provide an opportunity for elderly people and people with disabilities who otherwise be denied access to most of the park, the Missoulian reported (https://tinyurl.com/gp94jz2 ).

“They have as much of a right to see it as anybody else,” Kruger said.

Tour operators say their pilots also provide quick aid in search and rescue missions and help spotting and fighting wildfires.

Kruger said his company has been flying visitors over Glacier for 36 years.

___

Information from: Missoulian, https://www.missoulian.com

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide