Tourists banned from the world's tallest living tree, located in the US. The ban was introduced after tourists began to litter and leave traces of their life near a popular natural attraction. Violators face a fine of more than 300,000 rubles and/or imprisonment. The corresponding statement was published by California's Redwood National Park.
Reference: Hyperion is a representative of the evergreen sequoia growing in the Redwood National Park in northern California (USA). Its height exceeded the mark of 115.82 meters, which makes it the tallest living tree on Earth. The information has been confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records. At one time, naturalists gave the giant a name in honor of the mythical titan Hyperion, whom the ancient Greeks considered one of the first creatures to reach the heavenly bodies. The age of the sequoia is about 700-800 years, the diameter at its base is about five meters.
From August, tourists will no longer be able to visit the giant tree in the US following the ban. The tree is very deep in the park and there are no trails in the popular national park leading to it. This was done so that crowds of pilgrims would not destroy the centuries-old ecosystem around the tree. The statement read: “Hyperion is located off the trail, in dense vegetation, and extensive 'bush cutting' is required to reach the tree.”
In hiking circles, “walking in the woods” means hiking off-trail and includes hiking in uncultivated lands. “Despite a difficult journey, the increased popularity of bloggers, travelers and websites with stories and photos of this unusual tree has led to the destruction of the habitat surrounding Hyperion. As a visitor, you must decide whether you will participate in the preservation of this unique landscape or will you participate in its destruction? Park officials have warned that GPS signal is limited in this part of the park, and it can be difficult to rescue stranded hikers.
Tourists also often leave trash near the tree. So, Leonel Argüello, head of the natural resources department of the park, said the following: “There was garbage, and people created even more side paths to use the toilet. They leave used toilet paper and human waste, it's not good.”
Hikers can damage the natural environment and cause harm to wildlife in the national park. To prolong the life of the giant tree, it was decided to introduce a fine. Tourists who attempt to reach Hyperion will be fined $5,000 ($315,000) and may even face jail time of up to six months.
As tourism picks up post-pandemic, California's Redwood National Park isn't the only popular attraction battling bad traveler behavior. For example:
- This year Italyfined several tourists, and one unsuspecting tourist was fined 27,000 rubles for eating ice cream in Rome. A tourist sat down to rest on one of the Italian capital's historic fountains, which is prohibited due to the risk of damage (details here).
- Venice is about to impose high fees for day-trippers as it tries to control the flow people who visit the city within one day and are disturbed by their active presence of locals.
- In Spain, the Balearic Islands are struggling with excessive alcohol consumption with new strict rules. Tourists will no longer be able to indulge in unlimited alcohol or take part in noisy booze cruises. Magaluf, once known for its hedonism, is trying to change its reputation as a party resort and attract a new and more laid-back kind of tourist.
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