Opportunities for recreation in the
area changed after the dam was built. Before the dam,
people could hike or raft down secluded river canyons,
explore archeological sites, fish for native species
in the river, and observe wildlife in natural habitats.
Much of the area was hard to get to, requiring long
drives over rough roads or days of hiking. The area
received few visitors.
Now, Lake Powell has over 2.5 million
visitors every year. Tourism is the main source of income
in the area. Roads provide access to several launching
points around the lake, and people use speedboats, houseboats,
and personal watercraft to explore the canyon walls
that are still exposed above the water line. People
can fish for trout and other introduced species, camp
near the lake shore, explore the dam's visitor center,
take scenic drives, and stay in air-conditioned hotels.
The increase in the number of visitors
to the area indicates that more people now participate
in recreation in the area of Glen Canyon. More visitors
put a heavier demand on the natural resources though,
and wastes and by-products of human recreation accumulate
in the lake and along its shore.
2. Describe environmental costs associated
with human recreation at Lake Powell.
Consider how opportunities for recreation
in the area changed after the dam was built. Do you
think the dam has proven to be a cost (negative effect)
or a benefit (positive effect) in terms of providing
opportunities for recreation? In the chart on your student
answer sheet, use a scale from -2 to +2 to indicate
your evaluation of the dam's impact on recreation.
A rating of -2 would mean that you
believe the dam had a very negative effect on recreational
opportunities in the area. A rating of +2 would mean
that you believe the dam had a very positive effect
on recreational opportunities in the area. A rating
of zero would mean you thought the costs of the changes
in opportunities for recreation were equal to the benefits.