The Nation Rethinks Its Parks after 75 Years, America's Natural Gems Are Threatened by Crowds, Limited Management. NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS

By Brad Knickerbocker, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, October 25, 1991 | Go to article overview

The Nation Rethinks Its Parks after 75 Years, America's Natural Gems Are Threatened by Crowds, Limited Management. NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS


Brad Knickerbocker, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


HIGH up the Cascade Mountains, Crater Lake National Park can be warm and mellow this time of year. The campgrounds are empty, the Winnebagos few and far between, the gift shop quiet. A few tourists peer down from the rim to the dark blue lake 1,000 feet below, created 7 millenia ago when Mt. Mazama blew its top with a force 42 times greater than Mt. St. Helens.

The fall calm is deceptive, however; during the summer Crater Lake - like many national parks - is wall-to-wall people, its campgrounds packed, its rangers turned into traffic cops.

"My people are strapped," says chief ranger George Buckingham, a 27-year park service veteran. "They're having to decide what to do ... and it's hard for a ranger to have to choose between protecting a resource and serving the public."

The National Park Service celebrated its 75th anniversary recently facing serious questions about its purpose and its future. Among the major problems: overcrowding, limited management and maintenance resources, encroaching development, and a system of private concessions that critics say is monopolistic and far too profitable.

Meeting in Vail, Colo., earlier this month, several hundred Park Service professionals, environmentalists, educators, and politicians talked through these problems and heard senior government officials pledge a new era of protection for the parks.

"Clearly, our overriding responsibility is the stewardship of natural, cultural, and recreational resources both in the parks and throughout the country," declared Park Service director James Ridenour. "To fulfill this role, we have to move ourselves back to the frontier of good science and good research."

United States Secretary of the Interior Manuel Lujan told the group "the mission of the Park Service is, first to protect the resource and, secondly, to provide enjoyment by the public."

"But when push comes to shove, " he emphasized, "we've got to protect the resource."

As experts realize that a park's ecosystem extends beyond politically-determined boundaries, this will put park protection at odds with such activities as mining, logging, and ranching. This is especially true around Yellowstone, where the Park Service's Rocky Mountain regional director recently was transferred back East for pushing too hard for environmental protection.

In some cases, it may involve conflicting interests between federal agencies. In his office at Crater Lake, Mr. Buckingham kneels on the floor to spread out satellite photos taken by infrared camera. The park is surrounded by National Forest land, and the photos show clear-cut logging has occurred all along the border.

"The pressures are getting worse, and what scares me the most is that we're running out of room. Civilization is pushing up against the parks," he says.

Park Service data gathered by the Wilderness Society shows that ozone levels due to air pollution at about six parks routinely are above the point set by the Environmental Protection Agency as unhealthy. With more than 250 million visitors a year, the environmental group reports, "steadily growing automobile traffic is bringing 'greenlock' to more and more parks.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Nation Rethinks Its Parks after 75 Years, America's Natural Gems Are Threatened by Crowds, Limited Management. NATIONAL PARKS AND MONUMENTS
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.