San Francisco Chronicle:
The National Park Service doesn’t want anyone to know where Hyperion is, let alone hike to see it. Rangers don’t even refer to the tree by name. Environmental advocates and most lovers of big trees won’t help you either. Everyone who knows about the tree seems to keep Hyperion’s precise location a closely guarded secret.
And for good reason. I didn’t realize it, but I was embarking on a growing brand of trophy hunting in nature that, fueled by social media, has spawned an out-of-proportion mania for touching, seeing and posting images of special places — usually to the detriment of those places.
For example, a scenic viewpoint called Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River in northern Arizona, shared on Instagram in hundreds of thousands of photos, is perpetually crowded. It receives so many daily visitors — 10 times the visitation of nearby overlooks, according to one report — that local police and the Park Service have imposed parking restrictions nearby. Visitors are asked not to linger, and police officers now stationed in the parking area hurry people along. How’s that for enjoying nature?
It’s a shame that because we humans are the way we are, the answer to the headline question is, “Yes.”