I did some poking at this and found some stuff that might be of interest. First my biased and cynical comments:
Author Vail is a born-again river-rafter and born-again Christian. He might do better to grow up rather than continually being born again. After years of preaching the scientific view of the Canyon’s creation, Vail now offers the Creationist view which attempts to link the Canyon’s creation to the great flood(Noah) and offers “Christ-centered” rafting trips. I fail to see the direct link of the flood to Christ but I suspect this is part of the “whole ball of wax” put forward by the religious fundamentalists. I don’t suspect that Jesus is actually going on these rafting trips with Vail. If he is, I am going to take one - I really have some questions for him. My bottom line is that I really don’t like to see this kind of book being offered by the the National Park Service as it is junk science at best. I suppose my objection could be countered on a free speech basis.
Enough of this and on to the facts and issues (the full texts are too long to post so excerpts only):
From the geologists, whose objection seems to be mostly the unscientific premise and the stocking of this book along side the scientific books:
The Grand Canyon: A Different View is not about science and we strongly urge that, if it remains available in Grand Canyon bookstores, it be clearly separated from books and materials that do discuss our scientific understanding of Grand Canyon geology. As you know, the Grand Canyon provides a remarkable and unique opportunity to educate the public about Earth science. In fairness to the millions of park visitors, we must clearly distinguish religious tenets from scientific knowledge.
From the NPS via the Washinton Post:
The souvenir shop on park grounds is run by the Grand Canyon Association, but the National Park Service approves what may be sold there. The book, which is found in the inspiration section of park bookstores, is a “medium seller,” Oltrogge said, with about 300 copies sold since August.
Park rangers are instructed to give a scientific view of the age of the canyon and how it was created, based on currently accepted geology, Oltrogge said. If park visitors raise questions about creationism, rangers are supposed to defer to science, she said.
“National Park Service policy on interpretation is to teach current geological science,” Oltrogge said, adding: “We also recognize there are other beliefs out there. We don’t teach that. We teach current accepted geological science and history. Of course, they get questions during their interpretive sessions. You avoid confrontation.”