National Park Service

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1 National Park System National Parks: ~ 50 National Monuments: ~ 80, 5 million acres National Preserves: 12, mostly in Alaska National Seashores (10) and Lakeshores (4) National Historic Site, Memorials, and Battlefields: mostly in the east National Recreation Areas: 15, most created out of FS land National Parkways e.g. Blue Ridge Parkway

2 National Park Service John Muir Major force in creation of National Park System Did not like how industry and science were transforming the landscape Muir wanted places where people could escape progress He saw wilderness as a place of spiritual inspiration Lost fight over Hech Hechy convinced him that the Forest Service was not a friend Needed a new organization to protect wild places Starting with Yellowstone (1872), Congress reserved lands from disposal as natural wonders Confusion about purpose of reserves

3 1916 National Park Service Established Objectives of agency: People, scenery, wildlife and history. Principles for administration: Parks should be maintained completely free from degradation Parks should be used for observation, health, and pleasure National interest not local interests -- governs all activities within the park, both public and private. Stephen Mather 1 st Administrator Interpreted this to mean that primary duty was to preserve parks for posterity So put in hotels, roads, concessions in part of park, leave rest alone This pattern still apparent in most park On-going controversy: what to preserve scenery or ecology? 1916 act specifically mentions scenery Led to façade management Grand vistas and large mammal herds Fire suppression keep the picture pretty But wanted to keep wildlife for future generations Didn t understand the importance of natural disturbance or non-equilibrium dynamics!

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14 1933 Roosevelt transferred National Monuments to NPS Mission to interpret history, American heritage 1950s emphasis on greater visitor use e.g. Mission 66: for 50 th year of NPS more roads, development of visitor centers in each park Fortress mentality: protect what is inside the park, but ignore what is going on outside the park can this work?

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16 Trans-boundary Issues Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: logging Roads - housing development - predator management Oil and gas - ORVs - Mining

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18 Reintroduced in wolves initially 2004: 171 wolves 16 packs

19 Yellowstone Wolf Packs, 2004

20 Today greater emphasis on ecology, restoration, natural dynamics Predator and endangered species reintroduction Prescribed fire Ecosystem management Coordination with adjoining landowners Allowing natural disturbances to operate more freely Lots of planning to better balance ecological and social objectives Better use of science to inform decisions use reduce where possible or desirable But visitor use increasing hard to keep up with Huge backlog in maintenance not enough funding

21 IUCN = The World Conservation Union, previously known as the International Union for the Conservation of Nature IUCN s* Six Protected Areas Management Categories Category I. Category II. Category III. Category IV. Category V. Category VI. Strict Nature Reserve: managed for science or wilderness National Park: managed primarily for ecosystem protection and recreation Natural Monument: managed primarily for conservation of specific natural features Habitat/Species Management Area: managed for conservation through active intervention Protected Landscape/Seascape: Managed for cultural and scenic integrity, conservation, and recreation; human settlements and agricultural areas are accommodated Managed Resource Protected Area: Managed primarily for the sustainable use of ecosystems

22 MAB Biosphere Reserves in the United States

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24 National Protected Landscapes of the United Kingdom

25 Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

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