As we celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service in the year ahead, activists will be working to create a new generation of national parks for the next century.
In the ensuing op-ed, Thomas M. Power and George Wuerthner make the argument that there is abundant research that suggests land protection improves local economies. Not that economic reasons should be the rationale for protecting wilderness; however, most rural officials simply do not know that land protection is good for their communities.
The delisting of the Yellowstone Grizzly Bear is imminent and this we should celebrate (‘’’’dancing’’’’). Now that our happy dance is complete, we must insure the grizzlies’recovery is permanent. To insure “continuity of achievement,” the grizzlies need a firewall to protect the success of this achievement from human foible.
We have dedicated ourselves to this cause because we know that our parks and public lands represent the very best of America; they are the places that preserve our wondrous natural and cultural heritage and truly allow us to know and appreciate our nations unique and diverse story.
For 50 years, the Land and Water Conservation Fund has been a successful conservation tool for protecting America’s national parks. Unfortunately, this important fund, which enjoys strong bipartisan congressional support, is threatened by a proposed U.S. House bill. Congress should reject it, and instead permanently extend the program.
What role did the nation's rail industry play in the national park movement? Dr. Alfred Runte, in response to those who believe it was minimal, maintains the railroads not only helped substantially push the movement along, but opened the Western landscape to many who might not otherwise have seen it.
Alfred Runte, in his article Stephen Mather’s Ghost: Revisiting the Consensus for National Parks, published 6 September 2015 by National Parks Traveler, takes issue with the prevailing narrative that Mather, the first director of the National Park Service, was (mostly) responsible for the 1916 origin of the NPS. Instead, Dr. Runte attributes an important role for railroads in the origin of certain national parks and of the NPS.
In my career as a caretaker of America’s national parks – including years spent as the superintendent of Joshua Tree National Park – I have been honored with the duty to follow the fundamental principle of using sound science and balanced policies to guide decisions affecting these lands that are owned by all Americans.
The National Park Service reminds me of a proud old ship sailing confidently across the North Atlantic. The captain is beaming and the passengers seem contented, at least, those traveling first class on the upper decks. It’s below decks that the problems lurk. The crew is perhaps too easy going, believing the ship will always reach New York. However, the engines are old, the iron plating is thin, and the rivets are working loose.