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  1. Parks and Nature Preserves Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  2. Outline • Parks and Nature Preserves • History • Problems • Size and Design • Wilderness Areas • Wildlife Refuges • Wetlands • Values • Destruction Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  3. PARKS AND NATURE PRESERVES • Origins and History • Sacred groves were set aside for religious purposes, and grounds preserved for royalty. • Natural landscaping popular in England in 1700s; created illusion of nature. • Aristocrats excluded peasants’ harvesting within hunting estates Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  4. Central Park • New York’s Central Park 1844 • Provide healthful open space. • Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. father of landscape architecture. • Became original commissioner of Yosemite in California. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  5. Yellowstone • First US area set aside to protect wild nature. • Designated the first National Park in the world in1872. • National Park Service founded in 1916. • Eliminated evidence of human use. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  6. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  7. U.S. National Parks • US national park system has grown to 376 parks, monuments, historic sites and recreation areas. • 300 million visitors annually. • State and local parks have 1/16th the area of national parks, yet 2x visitors. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  8. Park Problems • Islands of nature surrounded and threatened by destructive land uses and growing human populations. • Number of visitors increased by 1/3rd in past decade, park budgets decreased by 25% • Estimated $6-8 billion for overdue repairs and restoration alone. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  9. Park Problems • Air Pollution • Acid Rain • Photochemical Smog • Mining and Oil Interests • Incompatible uses. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  10. Wildlife • Historically, parks killed “bad” animals (wolves) in favor of “good” animals (elk). • Unbalanced ecosystems, created false illusion of nature. • Today’s policy of “natural regulation.” • Bison populations • Hunted off park property • Brucellosis and domestic cattle Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  11. Buffalo killing at Yellowstone ` Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  12. Buffalo killing at Yellowstone Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  13. New Directions • Several parks removed facilities that conflict with natural values. • Proposals to close a number of parks to tourists to protect ecosystems. • Airsheds, watersheds, and animal territories and migration routes often extend far beyond official boundaries. • Biogeographical area must be managed as a unit. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  14. New Parks and Monuments • Solution to to create new parks. • Grand Staircase-Escalante • Desert canyonlands in southern Utah. • Sits atop potentially trillions of dollars worth on natural resources. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  15. World Parks, Preserves and Refuges • 4% of landmass • North and Central America have the largest fraction (10% of their land area - 33% of total protected area). • Former Soviet Union only has 3% of total. • Currently about 300 world biosphere reserves in 75 countries. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  16. Sustainable Human use and benefit Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  17. Size and Design of Nature Preserves • Ideally, a reserve should be large enough • To support viable populations of endangered species, • To keep ecosystems intact • To isolate critical core areas from external forces. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  18. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  19. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  20. Size and Design of Nature Preserves • For some species, several small isolated refuges can support viable populations. • But cannot support species requiring large amounts of space. • Corridors of natural habitat to allow movement of species from one area to another can help maintain genetic exchange in fragmented areas. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  21. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  22. Conservation and Economic Development • Ecotourism can be more beneficial to over the long-term than extractive industries. • Wildlife watching, outdoor recreation can be source of income. • But ecotourism can extend impacts into new untouched areas. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  23. Indigenous Communities and Reserves • Areas chosen for nature preservation are often traditional lands of indigenous people. • Often hurt traditional economies by restricting access or cultural practices. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  24. Maasai herders and Tanzania national parks Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  25. WILDERNESS AREAS • A belief in wilderness is deeply embedded in our culture. • 1964 - Wilderness Act defined wilderness: • “An area of undeveloped land affected primarily by the forces of nature, where man is a visitor who does not remain…” Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  26. Wilderness Areas • Most of areas meeting these standards are in the Western US and Alaska. • “Pure” interpretation of area with no history of development, only 1/4th of roadless areas qualify. • Prolonged battle has been waged over de-facto wilderness areas. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  27. Wilderness Areas • Arguments for preservation: • Refuge for endangered wildlife. • Solitude and primitive recreation. • Baseline for ecological research. • Area left in natural state. • For many people in developing countries, the idea of pristine wilderness is neither important or interesting. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  28. WILDLIFE REFUGES • 51 national wildlife refuges in US, 1901. Now 511 refuges in every major biome in NA. • Refuge Management • Originally intended to be sanctuaries in which wildlife would be protected from hunting or other disturbances. • 1948 - Hunting allowed in refuges. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  29. Wildlife Refuges • Over the years, a number of other uses have been allowed to operate within wildlife refuge boundaries. • Oil and Gas Drilling • Cattle Grazing • Motor-boating • Refuges also face threats from external sources - expanding human populations, water pollution Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  30. WETLANDS • Wetland - Shallow water body or an area where the ground is wet long enough to support plants specialized to grow under saturated soil conditions. • Wetland Values • Highly productive habitat for wildlife. • Occupy 5% of US land, but at least 1/3rd of endangered species use wetlands. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  31. Wetland Values • Storage of flood waters. • Natural water purification systems. • Coastal Wetlands • Used by nearly two-thirds of all marine fish and shellfish. • Stabilize shorelines and help reduce flood damage. • Recreational Opportunities. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  32. Wetland Destruction • Throughout much of history, wetlands have been considered disagreeable and useless. • 1850s to 1990s-- governments encouraged wetland drainage. • 2/3rds of original wetlands destroyed. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  33. Wetlands Destruction Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  34. Wetland Destruction • Clean Water Act (1972) protected wetlands by requiring discharge permits. • Farm Bill (1985) blocked agricultural subsidies to farmers who drain or damage wetlands. • These laws are not necessarily effectively enforced. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  35. Wetlands and Flood Control • Floodplains - Low lands along riverbanks, lakes, and coastlines subjected to periodic inundation. • Valuable due to rich soil, level topography, convenient water supply, access to shipping, and recreational potential. • River control systems have protected communities, but tend to channelize rivers, speeding flow of water and exacerbating flooding downstream. Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.

  36. Summary • Parks and Nature Preserves • History • Problems • Size and Design • Wilderness Areas • Wildlife Refuges • Wetlands • Values • Destruction Cunningham - Cunningham - Saigo: Environmental Science 7th Ed.