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Science and the National Parks.

The 1926 Organic Act that created the National Park Service (NPS) essentially told its leaders to preserve scenery and nature and "provide for the enjoyment . . . in such a manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations." Now the Park Service has to control the impact and feed the desires of more than 250 million visitors yearly.

Professionals inside and outside the Park Service knew years ago that the founding law was often ignored. In 1990 NPS Director James Ridenour was determined to put more muscle into research and science to save the parks. At his request, a committee of scientists and former NPS officials prepared this report.

The report makes three major recommendations: passing legislation to clarify the scientific mission of the parks, separating funding for a science program, and improving the science program's quality by bringing in prominent scientific leadership and outside oversight. The goal is to bring the most modern ecological thinking into management strategy. This report will be a shot in the arm to many professionals in the National Park Service who have been waiting for politics to catch up with science.
COPYRIGHT 1993 American Forests
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Kaufman, Wallace
Publication:American Forests
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 1993
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