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Gulf Islands National Seashore Still Recovering


Guisbeach_copy     Its been months since the 2005 hurricane season ended, yet life at Gulf Islands National Seashore still has not returned to normal. On Santa Rosa Island, for example, the Fort Pickens Road still hasn't been rebuilt...since it was wiped out by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004 and again by Tropical Storm Arlene in June 2005.
    To get a good idea of the "state of the park" as it struggles to get back on its feet, check out this story in the Pensacola News Journal. It's a pretty good eye-opener.


I wonder, though, given all the needs of the National Park System, if a road has been destroyed by hurricanes in two consecutive years, should we really spend the money to rebuild it? The article reports that the lack of human activity on the fragile seashore - activity which used to include bustling campgrounds and commercial concessions - has produced an increasing abundance of wildlife. Perhaps thats a good thing? One problem with a mission of "preservation" is "what to preserve" - in this case, perhaps the National Park Service should be willing to look a little further back in time for a preservation point.

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