Wednesday September 13 by bdm94754


									                                               ISSUE NUMBER THREE                                                            WEDNESDAY , SEPTEMBER 13, 2000

                                                           NATIONAL PARK SER VICE GENERAL CONFERENCE
                                                           NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
                                               September 11 - 15, 2000                                 NATIONAL
                                                                                                                                            St. Louis, Missouri

                                               E   X   P    E   R   I   E   N   C   E           Department
                                                                                               of the Interior
                                                                                                                        Y O U R         A M E R I C A

                                               On-Site Web Development TeamTeam
                                               Works to Bring Discover y 2000 to Parks


E     D     U    C    A    T    I   O      N

 8:00 a.m. Opening Plenary
 Keynote address by                                                                                                       Dave, Steve, Deb,
 Maya Angelou                                                                                                             and Jeff are serious
 9:35 a.m. Break
                                                                                                                          about bringing
                                                                                                                          Discovery 2000 to a
 10:00 a.m. Education Sessions                                                                                            park near you!

 11:30 a.m. Lunch
                                               Even those who couldn’t attend the                                and Jeff Selleck, a writer-editor with the
                                               Discovery 2000 conference are able to keep                        Natural Resource Program Center in Denver
                                               up with the proceedings in almost real time                       and editor of Park Science.
S P E C I A L           P R O G R A M          thanks to impressive work by a special NPS
                                               cyber swat team.                                                  The team began posting conference reports
                                                                                                                 Sunday night after spending a long day
    12 NOON - A Talk and reading
                      Talk       reading
                                               Each day’s speeches, events and summaries                         setting up equipment and loading software.
    by Author Scott Russell
                                               of discussion groups are posted on the                            Team leader Gilbert had already organized
    Sanders—”Stories of Place” -
                                               special conference website along with                             the site to handle conference registration for
    Sanders will read selections from
                                               photos and copies of this newsletter. The                         the nearly 1,300 participants. Now that the
    his books that evoke his home
                                               journey of information through the World                          conference is under way, the site is updated
    ground in the rural Midwest and
                                               Wide Web begins from a small room                                 three or four times a day.
    discuss the role of stories in
                                               dubbed “The Web Klubhouse” in a remote
    conveying a sense of place.
                                               part of the Regal Riverfront Hotel, which                         There is strong evidence people are clicking
    (Mississippi Room)
                                               serves as conference headquarters.                                in. On the first day of the conference, the
                                                                                                                 site got more than 4,460 hits, ranking it
    1:00 p.m. Education Sessions
                                               In a dimly lit room littered with empty                           15th among more than 500 NPS web
                                               coffee cups and overflowing wastebaskets                          directories. There must be a lot of employees
    2:30 p.m. Break
                                               sits a bank of five computers linked to a                         back home checking up on their colleagues!
                                               temporary network as well as to the main
    3:00 p.m. Closing Plenary
                                               NPS web page.                                                     This is a high-tech meeting, from the
    Quiet Riot
                                                                                                                 exhibits by private vendors to the
                                               The web team assembled just for this event                        registration database to the 30 computers
    6:30 p.m. Laclede’s Landing
                                               consists of Dave Gilbert, web manager for                         loaned by Dell Computer Corporation just
    Street Fair
                                               Harpers Ferry Center, Steve Pittleman, the                        to record summaries of discussion groups.
                                               Park Service’s Washington-based                                   “I’m impressed with how people have used
                                               webmaster, Deb Smith, staff assistant in the                      technology at this conference,” said
                                               Director’s office whose specialty is editing,                     Pittleman.
                 DISCOVER Y 2000
                 DISCOVERY                    •    NATIONAL PARK SER VICE GENERAL CONFERENCE
                                                   NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

W R I T E R’ S                D E S K             Maya Angelou Promises to Inspire
                                                  Thoughtful Reflection at Education Track
                                                  When planning began for Discovery 2000
                                                  and talk turned to keynote speakers, Maya
                                                  Angelou was one of the first names to be
                                                  suggested, said Martha Aikens, track leader
                                                  for today’s Education Track.

                                                  “No matter how you describe education or
                                                  what your perspective on education might
                                                  be, Maya is one of the standout people,”
                                                  she said.

                                                  Angelou was born in St. Louis, and her early
                                                  career focused on drama and dance, and

                                                                                                                                                   Photo by Steve Dunwell
    Author John McPhee once wrote,                included a tour of Europe in a production of
    “Alaska runs off the edge of the              Porgy and Bess. In the early 1960s, she lived
    imagination.” And certainly that              in Egypt where she was associate editor of
    marvelous place has inspired another          The Arab Observer in Cairo. During that
    author to explore the outer limits of         period of her career, she was also associated
    his own imagination.                          with the School of Drama and Dance at the
                                                  University of Ghana.
    Richard Nelson, a nature writer and                                                           human failings pervading American history
    cultural anthropologist who lives in          Returning to the United States, Angelou         and a renewed national commitment to
    Sitka, excited a packed house Tuesday         became the northern coordinator for the         unity and social improvement.
    about the land he loves and the links         Southern Christian Leadership Conference
    among the native peoples of Alaska            led by Martin Luther King, Jr. She served on    “She causes us to think about things
    and all creatures great and small.            the American Bicentennial Commission and        differently, about the traditional concepts
                                                  the National Commission on the Observance       associated with education, and in fact, who
    Nelson noted the state’s 14 national          of International Women’s Year. Angelou has      are the real educators,” said Aikens, who is
    park sites contain 70 percent of the          taught at several universities including the    also cochair of the Discovery 2000 Team.
    national park system’s total of 80            University of California at Los Angeles and     That ability is particularly important at
    million acres, much of it still utterly       the University of Kansas. She currently holds   Discovery 2000, where the focus is on the
    pristine. “Every plant and animal             the lifetime chair as Reynolds Professor of     National Park Service’s role in the new
    known to exist when Europeans                 American Studies at Wake Forest University.     century. Park Service people “have to think
    arrived in Alaska are still there with        Among her many academic honors are a            of ourselves and the Service as educators,
    the exception of the sea cows, a kind         Yale University Fellowship and being named      and certainly see that role in the future. Who
    of northern manatee that was wiped            a Rockefeller Foundation Scholar in Italy.      better (to be the keynote speaker) than
    out by the Russians,” he said.                                                                someone as notable as Maya?”
                                                  Although a poet and dramatist, Ms.
    Nelson noted that native tribes in the        Angelou is dedicated to the art of biography.
    north country believe that the                She has written five biographical works, the
                                                                                                    Lift up your eyes
    “proper role of humankind is toward           first of which is I Know Why the Caged Bird
                                                                                                    Upon this day breaking for you.
    service to and an obedience to the            Sings. The book was nominated for the
                                                                                                    Give birth again
    natural world.” He said Alaska’s              National Book Award. Her books are widely
                                                                                                    To the dr eam.
    parklands are a gift to us by countless       read and taught at schools and universities
    generations of Native American                today.
                                                                                                                     —Maya Angelou,
    people.                                                                                                “On the Pulse of Morning”
                                                  In 1993, Ms. Angelou became the second                    Spoken at the Presidential
    “These lands belong to us, or better          poet to be invited to speak at a Presidential               Inauguration Ceremony
    put, these are lands that we all              inauguration. Her poem “On the Pulse of                           January 20, 1993
    belong to,” he said.                          Morning” directed national attention to the

                    DISCOVER Y 2000
                    DISCOVERY                        •    NATIONAL PARK SER VICE GENERAL CONFERENCE
                                                          NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Experience Your America at                                                                                               N        E      W        S

Historic Laclede’s Landing                                                                                Quilts to New Mexico
                                                                                                          “From Our Family to Yours” has a goal
                                                                                                          of giving a homemade quilt to each
                                                                                                          family that lost a home during the
                                                                                                          Cerro Grande fire last May in New
                                                                                                          Mexico. This personal touch will help
                                                                                                          these families recover, ebuild their lives,
                                                                                                          and to show we care. You can sign on,
                                                                                                          or get questions answered by
                                                                                                          contacting Jeri Mihalic at 209-372-
                                                                                                          8825, or at

                                                                                                          Free Coffee!
                                                                                                          Not every participant has found the four
                                                                                  Don’t forget            FREE coffee stations that are available in
                                                                                                          Expo 2000. The coffee is shade-grown,
                                                                                  to wear                 meaning it’s grown under the forest
                                                                                  comfortable             canopies of Central and South America
                                                                                  shoes!                  thereby preserving habitat for migrating
                                                                                                          birds and other species. Expo is open
Cobblestone streets add to the ambiance of the Laclede’s Landing Street Fair.
                                                                                                          through 1 p.m. today.

Laclede’s Landing is the site of the original             beginning at 6 p.m. and run continuously        Picture This!
settlement of St. Louis and retains many of               until 8 p.m. Buses will return to hotels        The alumni of Jefferson National
the commercial buildings from the mid-                    beginning at 9:30 p.m. and will stop no         Expansion Memorial are meeting for a
1800’s, but tonight’s gathering will be a                 later than 11 p.m.                              photo on the east steps of the Old
thoroughly modern affair with                                                                             Court House at 4:50 p.m. on Thursday.
merchants along the cobblestone                                     Laclede’s is named for the French-
First and Second streets offering                                      born Pierre Laclede Liguest
                                                                                                          Raffle Winners
drinks, burgers, chicken                                                 who came up the
                                                                                                          The National Park Foundation polo shirt
wings, meatballs and                                                       Mississippi River to build a
                                                                                                          raffle winners are Danette Woo from
desserts, plus                                                               fur trading post in 1763.
                                                                                                          Fire Island N.S., Michael Creasey from
entertainment from two                                                        He laid out the streets
                                                                                                          Blackstone River N.H.C., Steve Iobst
stages.                                                                        and governed the area
                                                                                                          from Grand Teton N.P. and Diana
                                                                               until 1765.
                                                                                                          Maxwell of the NPS Natural Resource
If you registered for the
                                                                                                          Program Center.
Laclede’s event, you                                                          Laclede’s modern life
have received a coupon                                                       began in 1976 when the
book with $24 worth of                                                      nine-block district was
tickets good toward meals                                                  placed on the National
and drinks. If you don’t have                                             Register for Historic Places,
coupons (or are considering                                             making it among the earliest
more than $24 in libations!), you                                     historic districts to use federal
can use regular cash and plastic. Free                           tax incentives for historic
jazz, blues, ragtime, and rock music will                 preservation.
be provided on two stages throughout the
evening.                                                  By 1988, nearly one-third of the
                                                          architecturally significant structures had
Laclede’s is a modest walk from most of                   been rehabilitated and certified by the NPS
the downtown hotels. Bus transportation                   as eligible for nearly $2.5 million in tax
will also be provided. Buses leave hotels                 incentives.                                                    forms
                                                                                                          Quiet Riot per for ms
                                                                                                          at 3:00 p.m. today
                DISCOVER Y 2000
                DISCOVERY                     •    NATIONAL PARK SER VICE GENERAL CONFERENCE
                                                   NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Aahh Wilderness!                                  Ser ving as Stewar ds of Ancient Heritage
                                                  Serving     Stewards
Although the National Park Service
                                                  in the “Centur y of the Envir onment”
                                                          “Century         Environment”
resisted the first drafts and ultimate
                                                                                                   country and elsewhere for scientific research,
passage of the Wilderness Act, the
                                                                                                   education and the future of society.”
agency today manages more acreage of
wilderness than any other organization.
                                                                                                   Wilson firmly believes “the national parks
Nearly 55 percent of NPS lands are
                                                                                                   are our treasure house of the remnant
designated wilderness, with many more
                                                                                                   natural ecosystems” and as such need to be
acres still under consideration to be
                                                                                                   thoroughly understood. He says the
designated. Yet, even today, NPS culture
                                                                                                   “absurdly under-funded Service” is ideally
still resists the idea and requirements of
                                                                                                   suited for its role as the nation’s baseline
wilderness, according to much of the
discussion in yesterday’s breakout
session, “NPS Wilderness: Preserving
                                                                                                   Wilson foresees a future of increased
the Very Best of America’s Public Lands.”         Mike Soukup, Jerry Rogers, and Roger Kennedy
                                                  consider Dr. E.O. Wilson’s address.
                                                                                                   research in collaboration with an academic
                                                                                                   world that increasingly recognizes the parks
Bill Meadows, executive director of the
                                                                                                   and the NPS as a major force in research. In
Wilderness Society, said, “I submit the           A trio of speakers laid out the threats and                                  his opinion,
NPS has failed on a large scale to                promises that changes bring to the steward-                                  projects such as
discharge its wilderness responsibilities.”       ship of the natural world before conference                                  the inventory at
From power lines cutting across wild              attendees Tuesday morning.                                                   Great Smoky
landscapes, to the growl of chainsaws,
                                                                                                                               Mountains will
much of the group’s discussion revolved           “We will lose the wildness, the very nature                                  help us recognize
around if, and how, the NPS has                   of our parks if we don’t understand them,                                    the importance of
systematically failed to protect                  speak authoritatively for them, and don’t                                    the smallest living
wilderness values and resources. Much             know how to restore them” Mike Soukup                                        organisms as we
of the impetus for wilderness                     warned as he kicked of the Natural Resource                                  seek sustainable
designation has been to protect the               track opening plenary.                                                       biodiversity.
parks from shortsighted National Park
Service development plans.
                                                                                                   Wilson advocates increased education to
                                                   The national parks are our treasure             compliment the research efforts. He said
Jon Jarvis, superintendent of Mount
                                                   house of the remnant natural                    “there’s no better classroom than our
Rainier, listed issues that will continue
                                                   ecosystems.                                     national parks, and no more respected
to dominate twenty-first century
                                                                        —Dr.       Wilson
                                                                        —Dr. E.O. Wilson           teachers” than the people of the National
wilderness discussions. How do we deal
                                                                                                   Park Service.
with cultural resources and structures in
designated wilderness? What does
                                                  Roger Kennedy stirred the crowd as he            Dick Sellars applauded Dr. Wilson’s inclusion
“wilderness values” really mean?
                                                  introduced the morning’s keynote speaker.        of “deep history” in his remarks. The
Which is a higher priority: intrinsic
                                                  “Resource protection that hides in the           historian appreciated “the complexity of his
values or human values? Should
                                                  woods and does its thing shyly, silently and     subject and the issues” surrounding natural
technology, such as cell phones and
                                                  without explaining what its doing is not         resource management issues facing Service.
GPS units, be a part of wilderness?
                                                  protection at all,” according to the former      Voyagers natural resource manager Roger
                                                  NPS Director. “It will have no constituency.”    Andrascik found it “heartening to have
Wilderness cannot be managed in
                                                                                                   someone of Dr. Wilson’s stature recognize
isolation with the surrounding
                                                  Dr. Edward O. Wilson said he believes this is    and validate our concerns and needs”.
landscape, but must inherently be linked
                                                  a crucial time for the National Park Service     “Inspirational and thought provoking” were
with other landscapes, and even with
                                                  and for the environment in general.              words Suzanne Barrett from the Great
other park activities, such as educational
                                                                                                   Smokies used in reflecting on the address.
programs. Nonprofit organizations, like
                                                  “The planet could easily lose a quarter of its   She said his remarks “tend to motivate us,
the Wilderness Society and the National
                                                  plant and animal species in the next 30          and remind us what others think about us
Parks Conservation Association, assured
                                                  years” said Dr. Wilson. He sees the “grow-       and what we do well.”
the group that they stand ready to assist
the NPS in its wilderness programs.               ing importance of national parks in this

                  DISCOVER Y 2000
                  DISCOVERY                      •    NATIONAL PARK SER VICE GENERAL CONFERENCE
                                                      NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

America’s Treasures and
America’s Treasures                                  How Can We Increase                                                Winning in Court
Fire Management in the                               Awareness of the Natural
21st Century                                         World with a Population                           It was standing room only in “Natural
                                                                                                       Resources: Winning in parks, in the
                                                     Psychologically Removed                           courts, and for the public” when two
Following an opening presentation by
panelists on the practice of prescribed fire,
                                                     from Wild Land?                                   guys with beards we wouldn’t have
problems associated with prescribed fires at                                                           trusted in the 60s shared collective
several parks (particularly Bandelier NM),           This was posed to participants Tuesday at a       wisdom. “There’s a greater risk in not
and draft revisions to the Service’s                 natural resources track session entitled,         being consistent,” Yellowstone
prescribed fire management policies,                 “How Will a Public Far Removed from               Superintendent Mike Finley said and
participants discussed ways to improve the           Resources Relate to the NPS Mission?”             urged the crowd to “adapt an attitude
prescribed fire management program. A                                                                  of rigid defense.”
number of recommendations emerged:                   Attendees divided into two camps—those
                                                     who felt the best way to address the issue        Solicitor Dave Watts and Finley agreed
·   Assure that resource management and              was through education of today’s youth,           that there is value beyond the dollars
    fire suppression are “married” in the            and those who felt the solution was in            spent investing in fact gathering. “I
    new policy, combining the expertise of           influencing those with the authority and          can’t overemphasize that you live or die
    professionals in those two communities.          power to direct the agency from within.           on what you know or don’t know,”
·   Continue to educate the media, park              Considerations included growing                   Watts said during his primer on
    neighbors, elected officials, the public         metropolitan areas, changing ethnic               Administrative Procedures.
    in general and children in particular on         diversity, and impacts of technology on all
    the uses of prescribed fire. There was a         of our lives.                                     Jake Hoogland, NEPA coordinator and
    consensus that improved education is                                                               session moderator, hailed the concept of
    probably the most significant step we            Theorists suggest that partnerships must be       being prepared for lawsuits.
    can take. The media is already more              developed to educate the “high tech”
    knowledgeable as a result of efforts             public about the “high touch” parks.Others        “How we perform – with attorneys,
    stemming from the 1988 Yellowstone               advocate that constituents must be                reporters, and judges – forms our
    fires. Attention also needs to be paid to        developed to influence governors,                 reputations,” Finley added.
    educating park staffs and managers.              regulators, industry leaders, and scientists to
·   Expand the interpretation of prescribed          support agency efforts.                           Finley challenged Walt Dabney, director
    fire through programs, waysides,                                                                   of the Texas Park System, to share
    pamphlets and other educational                  Some felt a need to develop a                     lessons learned on the recent
    materials. Not enough is being done at           comprehensive vision for our education            Canyonlands court decision saying the
    present and there is a need for                  program, because so many youth today              lawsuit “refocused” the NPS on its
    materials. Harpers Ferry Center needs to         aren’t even aware of parks. Others felt a         mission and resulted in new policy.
    be active in this process.                       need to focus on developing strong                Dabney described how he, as former
·   Better utilize trained NPS staff on fires        partnerships outside parks because the NPS        superintendent, used the legislative
    (not everyone who was qualified was              is becoming less isolated—and more a part         history and the GMP to decide to close
    called out this summer) and improve              of a nationwide system of parks, including        a year round spring to four wheel drive
    resource sharing.                                state and local organizations.                    vehicles.
·   Use every tool available to manage
    forests, not just prescribed fire.               Begging pardon for the military reference,        The lively discussion questioned whether
    Mechanical thinning needs to be an               one admitted battlefield-oriented attendee        there were opportunities in waiting to be
    option, but approached with caution              stated, “It’s like fighting a two-front war,      sued or seeking lawsuits when park
    due to serious ecological, political and         and we don’t have the resources in the            resources were in jeopardy.
    other considerations.                            agency to do that.”
·   Hold a national “fire summit” on                                                                   Watt concluded with three guiding
    prescribed fire policy to ensure that best       Although lively discussion could have             principles: fund data gathering; keep an
    practices are employed. Take an                  continued for hours, if not into the night,       eye on new policies; and engage in long
    approach to fires in ecosystems that             one participant summed up the dilemma by          term legal planning now. “You know
    focuses on the ecosystem, not differing          asking, “If we save the parks but lose the        where the alligators are,” he said.
    agency mandates – a single approach              world, have we really accomplished our
    should be utilized rather than several           mission?”
    often differing approaches.

               DISCOVER Y 2000
               DISCOVERY                    •    NATIONAL PARK SER VICE GENERAL CONFERENCE
                                                 NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

Outreach Starts in Our                          Dr. Peter Raven Outlines
Own NPS Back Yar ds
                                                Recommendations for NPS Future
It is big and ugly. It’s rising up just
outside your park boundary. A hotel in          Peter Raven spoke to Discovery 2000
bright pink adobe. A two-story mini-            participants in an afternoon plenary session
mansion with a freshly cut road and a           yesterday. Dr. Raven is an internationally
flashy red roof. With 19 million acres of       renowned botanist and the director of the
once-rural lands becoming urban in the          Missouri Botanical Gardens.
two decades between 1970 and 1990,
these and other nightmares and could            Raven urged the NPS to make the national
soon be yours if they are not already.          parks accessible and meaningful to every
They are one vision of the future, but          segment of the U.S. population. He
probably not the one you want.                  discussed the effects of discrimination on
                                                society, and received an ovation when he
How to mitigate these and other                 said, “Discrimination, whether overt or           Dr. E. O. Wilson and Dr. Peter Raven drew a round
problems associated with a burgeoning           covert, whether active or passive, is not only    of applause from an engaged audience.
population and bustling gateway                 immoral or wrong, it is incredibly stupid.”
communities was the topic of a session                                                            Colloquium
yesterday morning entitled “Direct
Dealings: Working with Park Neighbors                                                             Concluding the afternoon, Dr. Peter Raven
of the Future.” Presenters Rich Gregory,         Discrimination whether overt or                  and Dr. E.O Wilson responded to questions
Warren Brown and Larry Gamble began              covert, whether active or passive,               submitted by conference participants. The
by talking about how parks are                   is not only immoral or wrong, it is              scholars answered a variety of questions
increasingly encroached upon, how this           incredibly stupid.                               ranging from a critique of the Endangered
trend will continue, and how park                                   —Dr.
                                                                    —Dr. Peter Raven              Species Act to which scientific fields
managers can work with communities to                                                             students today should study. When asked
preserve both park and community                                                                  how the national parks will fit into
values.                                                                                           humanity’s future, Dr. Wilson responded
                                                Raven outlined eight recommendations:             (much to audience’s delight), “The national
“If your job is influencing how the             1. A scientific staff in every park is critical   parks will be very vital for the long-term
character of the land around you takes          to adequately manage resources.                   psychological health of the human species.”
form, you have to earn a right to have a        2. NPS should clearly and unequivocally           The two drew applause and laughter from
seat at the table,” said Brian O’Neill,         adopt a goal of managing parks for the            an audience that sat on the edge of their
Superintendent of Golden Gate National          greatest amount of biodiversity possible.         seats throughout much of the provocative
Recreation Area during an intense               3. NPS needs to pay special attention to          dialogue.
discussion. “Outreach to the local              invasive species.
community is critical to establishing the       4. NPS needs to receive adequate funding
trust necessary to have a productive            to do its job.                                     N    P   S       R   E    U    N    I   O    N
working relationship,” O’Neill said.            5. There must be increased coordination
                                                with other land management agencies and
However, he conceded that outreach is           the private sector.
only half the job.                              6. NPS and Interior Department must invest
                                                further in understanding global climate
“You have to communicate to the staff           change and other forms of pollution coming
that we’re not just in the business of          from beyond boundaries.
managing the park, but also how the             7. The greatest value of the national parks
community around the park develops,”            is going to be in the educational arena. The
he said.                                        nearly 300 million visitors are one of the
                                                agency’s greatest assets.
                                                8. Work with foreign countries to help
                                                them understand the similar problems they
                                                are confronting.                                  NPS Urban Intake Trainees from the late 60s and
                                                                                                  early 70s with former Director Bill Whalen.

                  DISCOVER Y 2000
                  DISCOVERY                      •    NATIONAL PARK SER VICE GENERAL CONFERENCE
                                                      NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

                                                                                                      U S E I T o r L O S E I T?
              F E A T U R E D                                  E S S A Y
                                                                                                      Are the only inappropriate park uses
By Charles Wohlforth                                                                                  those that impair park resources and
At park headquarters, they’re thinking about         On a national level and at many individual
resource management and wildlife biology.            parks the NPS offers volumes of useful           Chris Schafer, WASO Air Resources
In the campground, they’re thinking about            information on the Internet. Couldn’t parks      Division Chief, and Chick Fagan of
hand soap.                                           also install Internet kiosks so visitors could   WASO Policy opened the session with
                                                     access this information after they arrive?       background on appropriate use and with
There are two worlds within each National                                                             the question, “Will current NPS
Park. That’s one of the lessons I’ve learned         The parks are run well; they are fulfilling      guidance suffice in the 21st century?”
as a journalist, covering the parks first as a       their dual mission of preservation and
daily newspaper reporter and then as author          enjoyment by the public. But I think each        Group discussion brought forth a variety
of a book, Frommer’s Family Vacations in             park superintendent should take a week a         of viewpoints:
the National Parks.                                  year to camp out with his or her kids, just      ·    The NPS needs to educate the public
                                                     like regular folks, and see things from our           about the realness, authenticity of
As a reporter, I identified with the                 point of view for a while.                            national parks.
headquarters, reading the latest planning                                                             ·    The NPS needs to better articulate
documents and following the latest                                                                         why some park uses are appropriate
controversy about preservation, restoration                                                                and some are not.
                                                      . . . I started to wonder if the folks          ·    Parks should be ready to suggest
or park use.                                          at the headquarters should start                     alternative locations to requesters.
                                                                 more from      family’s
                                                      thinking mor e fr om the family’s               ·    Some parks require requesters to
Then, as an author, I began traveling to                         view.
                                                      point of view.
parks all over the country with my own                                                                     explain why their activity/event must
three kids. Now I became more concerned                                                                    be done in the park, what they will
with the policies at the campgrounds, the                                                                  do to prevent resource impairment.
ease of the reservation system, and how to           Find out why it is important to preserve the     ·    Before we can criticize others, the
find hikes that were easy enough for my              environment at the campground as well as              NPS must submit itself to the same
kids but not too easy.                               in the backcountry – unlike at Yosemite,              standards it requires of permitees.
                                                     where a policy allowing firewood gathering            Examples were use of 2-cycle
And I started to wonder if the folks at the          outside the valley has left some                      engines, recycling, fuel spills, sewer
headquarters should start thinking more              campgrounds denuded and barren.                       treatment, and leaky equipment.
from the family’s point of view.                                                                      ·    Parks must be held accountable—is
                                                     Find out why programs aimed at families               there a lack of conscience?
At Yellowstone, the concessionaire put soap          need to take kids into account—unlike            ·    NPS should be an environmental
and paper towels in the campground                   campfires that begin at 9:30 p.m. in many             leader through its actions.
bathrooms, making life infinitely easier for         parks, or Junior Ranger programs made up         ·    The NPS truly has one mission:
family campers. Wouldn’t the camping fees            of word-search puzzles and other busy work            conserve the resources and allow for
of $12 or more pay for soap in other parks?          that teach little about nature.                       visitor enjoyment within that
(At the same time, some Yellowstone cabins                                                                 context. We often hurt ourselves by
have deteriorated into shameful vacation             And find out what it’s like to drive around           over-debating our dual mission of
slums.)                                              and around in a first-come, first-served              conservation and visitor enjoyment.
                                                     campground hoping you can snag a site            ·    Uses outside boundaries affect parks
At Denali, a wonderful transportation                when someone leaves—with a car full of                as much or more than uses inside
system protects the heart of the park and            unhappy kids.                                         boundaries. Parks should work
keeps the wildlife wild as nowhere else.                                                                   closely with communities to
Couldn’t the park also have found a way to           Superintendents should keep their eyes on             promote conservation.
educate visitors to understand the system,           the big picture. But please put soap in the      ·    The NPS has little involvement in
cutting the lines, frustration and                   bathrooms, too.                                       long-term research and is missing
disappointment at the visitor center ticket                                                                opportunities. Parks should plan for
desk?                                                      —Charles Wohlforth is the author of             the scientific needs of the future.
                                                      Frommer’s Family Vacations in the National           Park data is needed for world-wide
                                                          Parks and lives in Anchorage, Alaska.            research.

                            DISCOVER Y 2000
                            DISCOVERY                    •   NATIONAL PARK SERVICE GENERAL CONFERENCE
                                                             NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

                          E X P E R I E N C E                                                                               The National Park Service cares for

                                 Y O U R                                                                                   special places saved by the American
    of the Interior
                               A M E R I C A                                                                            people so that all may experience our

Compass Award                                                                                                  WEDNESDAY’S WEATHER
                                                             The Brunton Company is saluting two NPS
                                                             employees for outstanding achievements in         September 13, 2000
                                                             earth sciences and fossil resource protection.
                                                             Andrew Valdez, a geologist at Great Sand
                                                             Dunes, and Vincent Santucci, chief ranger
                                                             at Fossil Butte. Brunton representative David
                                                             Glenn made the award Tuesday afternoon to
                                                             Intermountain Regional Director Karen
                                                             Wade who will pass the awards on the
                                                             recipients. The awards consist of a plaque
                                                             and a personalized Brunton pocket transit.        Sunny and a high near 80 degrees and
                                                                                                               southeast winds from 5 to 15 mph.
                                                                                                               Wednesday night will be partly cloudy
     •                Q    U     I   T     E             F     R     A     N      K     L     Y     •          with a 30 percent chance of showers
                                                                                                               and thunderstorms late. The low will
                                                                                                               reach into the lower 60s.

                                                                                                               THURSDAY’S WEATHER
                                                                                                                September 14, 2000

                                                                                                                Showers and thunderstorms are likely.
                                                                                                                The high will be around 80 degrees and
                                                                                                                the chance for rain is 60 percent.

                                                                                                                 A     R      T         S     A     L      E

                                                                                                                 Phil Frank’s original cartoons are
                                                                                                                 available for sale beginning today
                                                                                                                 beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the National
                                                                                                                 Park Foundation exhibit. The five
                                                                                                                 cartoons are priced at $200 each.
                                                                                                                 Payment should be made to the
                                                                                                                 National Park Foundation, and all the
                                                                                                                 proceeds will be returned to the artist.


To top