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Summary of issues/trends in national parks

U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service

Contact: Jeff Selleck
303.987.6792 (fax)


May 1, 1998

Natural Resource Year in Review-1997

National Park Service (NPS) Associate Director for Natural Resource
Stewardship and Science Mike Soukup announced today the availability of
the report Natural Resource Year in Review-1997. Now in its second year,
the Year in Review summarizes and analyzes the most significant natural
resource issues and trends in the national park system for the calendar
year. Applied science and resource management stories are reviewed with
the objective of increasing interest in, understanding of, and support
for the natural resource stewardship role of the National Park Service.
"This report provides an enjoyable and succinct overview of the state of
resource management in the national park system during 1997," Soukup
said. "Readers will find annual achievements, science highlights, and
ample testimony to the complexity of managing national parks in modern
landscapes. In documenting the year's events, the Year in Review
describes many of the challenges we face and where we need to go from
here." Presented as a magazine, the report contains information that is
not available in any other single location.

The Year in Review is organized in seven chapters that address (1) the
complexity and diversity of threats to natural resources; (2) gathering
information on the resources and their condition; (3) the role of
planning in natural resource preservation; (4) the indispensable nature
of partnerships; (5) ecological restoration; (6) the demand for
innovation in attacking resource management problems; and (7) natural
resource management dilemmas. More than 50 brief stories cover both
national and park-specific issues. Examples are:

* warding off the threat of the proposed world's largest landfill at
Joshua Tree National Park (CA)

* implications of the discovery of a nonnative snake near Haleakala
National Park (HI)

*prosecuting mineral resource vandals at Mammoth Cave National Park (KY)

* planning for a visitor transportation shuttle at Zion National Park

*conserving the jaguar through grassroots efforts in the Southwest
working towards a bioprospecting agreement at Yellowstone National Park
(WY, MT, ID)

*the search for an efficient coastal mapping method for Alaskan parks
establishing park science scholarships through corporate sponsorship
preserving the Colorado River ecosystem through adaptive management of
the Glen Canyon Dam

*attacking the exotic plant tamarisk in the Southwest and melaleuca in
South Florida parks

*the role of science in ecological restoration at Everglades National
Park (FL)

*analyzing the effects of the 100-year flood in Yosemite National Park

*the trials of preserving wolves in Voyageurs (MN) and Yellowstone (WY,
MT, ID) National Parks

The Year in Review begins with a foreword, written by NPS Director
Robert Stanton, that puts the tasks of natural resource preservation in
context with the times and agency mission. It concludes with an essay by
a former NPS research administrator who analyzes the needs and
challenges of NPS natural resource management for the future.
Throughout, readers will also find updates on evolving issues featured
in last year's edition, legislative progress reports, and profiles of
natural resource management award winners.

The 72-page, two-color report contains 85 photographs, 3 maps, 3 graphs,
and 9 other illustrations.

The Year in Review is accessible on-line at

--Additional Science Information--
Another good source of information on natural resource issues and
research in the national park system is the bulletin Park Science. Park
Science reports recent and ongoing natural and social science research,
its implications for park management and planning, and its application
in everyday resource management in the parks. Technical in nature, Park
Science is edited for the lay reader.

Articles consist of case studies (specific park-applied research and
resource management project write-ups), feature stories (personalized
reports on research and its application in management or professional
growth experiences), and short stories (brief articles of broad interest
and applicability). Repeating columns include editorials, Information
Crossfile (synopses of longer, often scholarly works relevant to
resource managers), Meetings of Interest (a calendar of upcoming
conferences), MAB Notes (a report on the Man and the Biosphere
Program of UNESCO), book reviews and profiles of new publications, and
Highlights from around the national park system.

Recent stories have reported the potential risk of exposure to carbon
monoxide by snowmobile riders in parks; the need for stronger emphasis
on science in park management; techniques for monitoring the desert
tortoise; development of a catalog of whale fluke identification
photographs for whale monitoring in Alaska; monitoring for avian
productivity and survivorship at Redwood National Park, and the
development of a vegetation and landform database in the Pacific

Park Science is available on-line at http://www.aqd.nps.gov/nrid/parksci

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Editor's Note: Both the Year in Review and Park Science may suggest
resource management topics that environmental and science reporters
might wish to investigate further in developing their own stories about
natural resource preservation in the national park system.

A limited number of printed copies of the Year in Review are available
to the media. Contact the Natural Resource Information Division by
e-mail (jeff_selleck@nps.gov) or write Jeff Selleck; National Park
Service; WASO-INFO; P.O. Box 25287; Denver, CO 80225-0287, to obtain a