Reader Participation Day: Are We Overreaching With Wildlife Management in National Parks?
How far should national park managers go when it comes to wildlife management issues? That's a controversial issue in some circles, as evidenced by the concern being raised over a proposal at Cape Cod National Seashore to poison some crows that have developed a knack for preying on piping plovers, a threatened species along the Atlantic Seaboard under the Endangered Species Act.
The issue, which is addressed in more detail elsewhere in today's content on the Traveler, of actively managing a species has generated controversy elsewhere in the National Park System. At Cape Hatteras National Seashore efforts to protect both piping plovers and sea turtles from humans is an incredibly hot issue. At Rocky Mountain National Park there are conflicting views over how best to manage that park's burgeoning elk herds. At Wind Cave National Park, which recently decided to use open and closed gates to make elk vulnerable to hunters outside the park in an effort to reduce the overall population, officials looked at a variety of options -- including bringing wolves into the park -- to manage the elk before settling on the gate approach.
Now, the Endangered Species Act requires the National Park Service and other federal agencies to do what they can to reverse population declines in listed species. But do you think these efforts at times go too far...or, perhaps, not far enough?