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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Enjoyment vs. Preservation? Can't we have both?

The National Park Service's mission is to preserve and protect the natural and cultural resources of the park system unimpaired for the enjoyment of present and future generations. In years past the Park Service believed this mission included removing predators such as the wolf and mountain lion in order to boost deer and elk populations. These ungulates were animals the Park Service thought the public came to see. The Park Service also encouraged activities such as the Yosemite Fire Falls and the Yellowstone bear dump shows.

However, over the years the Park Service learned activities such as the bear shows were bad for the bears and the public and rightly put an end to it and other questionable uses. The Park Service realized it mission wasn't to allow all uses, only those that gave the visitors a better understanding of the natural and cultural wonders, as well as left the parks unimpaired.

Today, park management is based on insuring the park's natural functions are viable. This management can still include removing species; however these are ones determined to be non-native such as the Yellowstone lake trout. Yet, also includes reintroducing fire and predators such as the wolf and grizzly bear.

How do you feel about the balance the Park Service has struck between enjoyment and preservation?


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1 comment:

  1. In any successful working relationship,both sides need to win. It cannot be one-sided. Many park enthusiasts seek peace and refuge; others seek outdoor adventure- hiking, camping, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, biking and other forms of excitement.

    Since politics are involved in keeping funds flowing, a compromise is the only way to ensure long term viability.

    Both sides will have to give in a bit - but both sides will need to learn to work with each other for their own good - in order to keep the National Park System viable, first in class and a continued national treasure.
    Robert Piller
    Eco Marketing Solutions