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    Author(s): James D. Nations
    Date: 2011
    Source: In: Watson, Alan; Murrieta-Saldivar, Joaquin; McBride, Brooke, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Ninth World Wilderness Congress symposium; November 6-13, 2009; Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Proceedings RMRS-P-64. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 165-168.
    Publication Series: Proceedings (P)
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (126.49 KB)

    Description

    The National Parks Conservation Association’s Center for State of the Parks uses an easily explained, fact-based methodology to determine the condition of natural and cultural resources in the United States National Park System. Researchers assess and numerically score natural resources that include water quality and quantity, climate change impacts, forest fragmentation, wildlife communities, non-native species, poaching, and land use history. Evaluated cultural resources include archaeology, historical structures, relations with indigenous communities, and cultural landscapes. By using the same methodology to determine resource conditions in every park, the team is able to define systemic threats to the National Park System, prompting policy and management changes to counter them. The author explains the assessment process, outlines the lessons learned during the first 80 park assessments, and describes how the methodology could be adapted for use in parks and wilderness areas in other regions of the world.

    Publication Notes

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    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Nations, James D. 2011. How do you know things are getting better (or not?) Assessing resource conditions in National Parks and Protected Areas. In: Watson, Alan; Murrieta-Saldivar, Joaquin; McBride, Brooke, comps. Science and stewardship to protect and sustain wilderness values: Ninth World Wilderness Congress symposium; November 6-13, 2009; Merida, Yucatan, Mexico. Proceedings RMRS-P-64. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 165-168.

    Keywords

    wilderness, biodiversity, conservation, protected areas, economics, subsistence, tourism, traditional knowledge, community involvement, policy, stewardship, education, spiritual values

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