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Sunday, August 26, 2012

Park Science Protects our Future?

Unleashing Colter's Hell is available now on Amazon.
Unleashing Colter's Hell: Buy it now!

The National Park Service recently released its roadmap for preserving and protecting our natural and cultural heritage well into the middle of this century. The roadmap calls for the Park Service to plan for "continuous change to preserve ecological integrity and cultural and historical authenticity; provide visitors with transformative experiences and form the core of a national conservation land- and seascape." This plan is an update to the 1963 Leopold report that set the basis for the Park Service's science based management of its wildlife populations.

A strong understanding of natural processes, including continuous research, combined with dedicated staff and programs designed to explain the science behind park service decisions is at the heart of the agency's successful approach to managing our natural and cultural wonders.

Understanding and protecting the park's natural forces produces real societal benefits such as DNA sequencing and cancer cures.

The premise of my new novel Unleashing Colter's Hell, is of a terrorist trying to trigger an eruption of the Yellowstone caldera (one of the world's largest super volcanoes) with an atomic bomb.  A Yellowstone eruption threatens the future of the United States and quite possibly the world's civilization.

Before I began writing the book, one of my story sideboards was plausible plot elements. There would be no magic or supernatural phenomenon needed to move the story. In my opinion a plausible threat, such as the eruption of the Yellowstone volcano is more terrifying than mythical monsters or ghosts.

Over the next three years, I researched how the novel's villain might acquire an atomic bomb, smuggle it to the Yellowstone, and where to place the device to inflict maximum damage. Meanwhile, my hero who is assisted by Yellowstone's head of natural resource manage and an FBI agent, uses his understanding of sciences such as volcanology and his park service experience to chase down the terrorist.

The Park Service's recommitment to good science can give the public confidence that sound management of the national heritage will continue for generations to come. In Unleashing Colter's Hell, the Park Service Rangers uses this scientific approach to thwart Armageddon.

Unleashing Colter's Hell is now out on Amazon. Look for it here!

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