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Preserving and Restoring Nature. Outline. Parks and Nature Preserves Wilderness Areas and Wildlife Refuges Global Parks and Reserves Preserving Functional Ecosystems Restoration Ecology Wetlands and Floodplains Ecosystem Management. PARKS AND NATURE PRESERVES. Origins and History

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  • Parks and Nature Preserves
  • Wilderness Areas and Wildlife Refuges
  • Global Parks and Reserves
  • Preserving Functional Ecosystems
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Wetlands and Floodplains
  • Ecosystem Management
parks and nature preserves
  • Origins and History
    • Historically, sacred groves were set aside for religious purposes, and grounds preserved for royalty.
    • Natural landscaping became popular in England during the eighteenth century.
      • Rejected symmetry for illusion of nature.
central park
Central Park
  • New York’s Central Park - Promoted in 1844 by newspaper editor William Cullen Bryant.
    • Provide healthful open space.
      • Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.
        • Became known as father of landscape architecture.
          • Became original commissioner of Yosemite park in California.
  • First U.S. area set aside to protect wild nature.
    • Authorized by President Abraham Lincoln.
      • Designated the first National Park by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872.
        • Also first National Park in the world.
          • Mount Rainier - 1899
          • Crater Lake - 1902
          • Mesa Verde - 1906
          • Grand Canyon - 1908
north american parks
North American Parks
  • U.S. national park system has grown to more than 280,000 km2 in 388 parks, monuments, historic sites and recreation areas.
    • 300 million visitors annually.
  • Canada has 1,471 protected areas occupying about 150,000 km2.
trouble in our parks and monuments
Trouble in our Parks and Monuments
  • Many parks have become islands of nature surrounded and threatened by destructive land uses stemming from growing human populations crowding park boundaries.
  • While number of visitors has increased by one-third over the past decade, park budgets have decreased by twenty-five percent.
    • Estimated $6-8 billion for overdue repairs and restoration alone.
trouble in our parks and monuments8
Trouble in our Parks and Monuments
  • Air Pollution
    • Acid Rain
    • Photochemical Smog
  • Mining and Oil Interests
  • Conversion of inholdings to incompatible uses.
wildlife in parks
Wildlife in Parks
  • Historically, parks killed “bad” animals (wolves) in favor of “good” animals (elk).
    • Critics contend this policy unbalanced ecosystems, and created a false illusion of a natural system.
  • Park Service now maintains a policy of “natural regulation.”
    • Bison populations
      • Hunted off park property
      • Brucellosis and domestic cattle
wildlife in parks10
Wildlife in Parks
  • Proposals exist to close a number of parks to tourists altogether 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.
wilderness areas and wildlife refuges
  • Wilderness Areas
    • A belief that wilderness is a source of wealth and the origin of strength, self-reliance, wisdom, and character, 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…”
wilderness areas
Wilderness Areas
  • Most of areas meeting these standards are in the Western U.S. and Alaska.
    • If the USFS uses a “pure” interpretation of wilderness that excludes all lands with any history of roads or development, only about one-fourth of its 23 million ha of roadless areas qualify for protection.
      • Prolonged battle has been waged over de-facto wilderness areas.
wilderness areas14
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.
wildlife refuges
Wildlife Refuges
  • 1901 - President Teddy Roosevelt established 51 national wildlife refuges.
    • Now 540 refuges encompassing 40 million ha representing 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.
        • Duck Stamps - Wetland protection
wildlife refuges16
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, Camping
  • Refuges also face threats from external sources - expanding human populations.
    • Water Pollution
global parks and preserves
  • The idea of setting aside nature preserves has spread rapidly over the past 50 years.
    • Debt-for-nature swaps
    • Consumer pressure
    • Gaining status
  • Currently 12% of world’s terrestrial land area in protected status (40% of this in developing countries.)
global parks and preserves19
  • Leaders include Europe (many sites but small area), Central America, Brazil.
  • Pacific with the fewest sites.
  • Montane grasslands & shrublands, temperate conifer forests, flooded grasslands, & savannas have high level of protection.
  • Temperate grasslands, Mediterranean climate areas have little protection.
world conservation strategy
World Conservation Strategy
  • Three objectives:
    • Maintain essential ecological processes and life support systems
    • Preserve genetic diversity
    • Ensure utilization of wild species and ecosystems is sustainable
marine ecosystems need greater protection
Marine Ecosystems Need Greater Protection
  • “No-take” refuges protect species within them and serve as nurseries for nearby areas.
  • Some biologists have called on nations to protect at least 20% of near-shore territory.
  • 90% of all coral reefs face threats from human disturbance.
  • Aquatic reserves make up less than 10% of all the world’s protected areas.
conservation and economic development
Conservation and Economic Development
  • Many of the most seriously threatened species & ecosystems are in developing countries where human survival takes precedence over environmental goals.
  • Biological richness and ecotourism are important economic resources.
  • Man and Biosphere (MAB) program (initiated by UNESCO in 1986) - divides protected areas into zones with different uses.
transboundary peace parks
Transboundary Peace Parks
  • Governments, environmental organizations, and international donors are teaming up to develop transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs).
    • Offer hopeful strategy for cooperation in long-tense regions.
      • Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park
preserving functional ecosystems and landscapes
  • Landscape Ecology is the study of how ecological processes shape diverse environments.
    • Fires periodically burn the forests of Yellowstone, opening up patches of forest while leaving others standing.
      • Opening allow new plant species to flourish.
        • Shifting Mosaic
patchiness and heterogeneity
Patchiness and Heterogeneity
  • From a landscape ecology standpoint, all landscapes consist of mosaics of different abiotic and biotic conditions.
    • Predominate matrix in which other patch types are embedded.
      • Human disturbances
      • Successional processes
    • Landscape heterogeneity can exist across a wide range of scale.
landscape dynamics
Landscape Dynamics
  • Time and space are of special concern in landscape ecology.
    • Boundaries between habitat patches are considered especially significant.
      • Edges can induce, inhibit, or regulate movement of materials, energy, or organisms across a landscape.
        • Inter-patch dynamics may be especially important.
size and design of nature preserves
Size and Design of Nature Preserves
  • For some species with small territories, 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.
restoration ecology
  • Restoration ecology seeks to repair or reconstruct ecosystems damaged by humans or natural forces.
    • Restoration - Bringing something back to a former condition.
    • Rehabilitation - Refers to attempts to rebuild elements of an ecological system without necessarily achieving complete restoration.
restoration ecology33
Restoration Ecology
  • Remediation - Cleaning chemical contaminants from a polluted area by physical or biological methods.
  • Reclamation - Physical or chemical manipulations carried out in severely degraded sites.
  • Re-creation - Attempts to construct a new biological community on a severely disturbed site.
tools of restoration
Tools of Restoration
  • Horticultural or animal control methods.
  • Removal of alien intruders.
  • Seed broadcasting.
  • Fire
  • Let nature heal itself.
back to what
Back to What ?
  • It may not be possible to return to past conditions as climate changes and evolution may have made earlier communities incompatible with current conditions.
    • Who decides current conditions are bad ?
      • Personal preferences ?
wetlands and floodplains
  • 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 land in U.S., but at least one-third of all endangered species use wetlands.
wetland values
Wetland Values
  • Storage of flood waters.
  • Natural water purification systems.
  • Coastal Wetlands
    • Wildlife Habitat
    • Stabilize shorelines and reduce flood damage.
    • Recreational Opportunities
wetland destruction
Wetland Destruction
  • Throughout much of history, wetlands have been considered disagreeable and useless.
    • US Swamp Lands Act (1850) - Allowed individuals to purchase swamps and marshes for as little as 10 cents per acre.
      • Until recently, governments encouraged wetland drainage.
        • Consequently, sixty-six percent of original wetlands were destroyed.
wetland conservation and mitigation
Wetland Conservation and Mitigation
  • 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.
  • Wetland mitigation is one of the most active areas of restoration ecology.
floodplains and flood control
Floodplains 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.
ecosystem management
  • Ecosystem management attempts to integrate ecological, economic, and social goals in a unified approach.
    • Most federal and many state natural resource agencies are implementing ecosystem management as their guiding policy.
principles and goals of ecosystem management
Principles and Goals of Ecosystem Management
  • Manage at multiple scales.
  • Use ecological boundaries.
  • Monitor the ecosystem.
  • Use adaptive management.
  • Allow organizational change.
  • Consider humans in nature.
  • Identify values.
  • Parks and Nature Preserves
  • Wilderness Areas and Wildlife Refuges
  • Global Parks and Reserves
  • Preserving Functional Ecosystems
  • Restoration Ecology
  • Wetlands and Floodplains
  • Ecosystem Management