• Curecanti National Recreation Area

    Curecanti

    National Recreation Area Colorado

The Magnitude of Wilderness

National Park Service Mission

...to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.




Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and Curecanti National Recreation Area Outreach Education is committed to: Creating an awareness and fostering an appreciation for the mission of the National Park Service and the natural, cultural, and historic resources of Curecanti National Recreation Area and Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.

EDUCATION LESSON PLAN

Curriculum enhancing activities designed to complement national and state content standards across a variety of disciplines.

Title: The Magnitude of Wilderness

Grade level: Seventh grade

Time length: 60 minutes

Subject areas: Science, Mathematics, Geography

Teacher: Two NPS Education Specialists

Colorado Content Standards: Science - Standard 1. Students understand the processes of scientific investigation and design, conduct, communicate about, and evaluate such investigations. Students are able to use appropriate tools, technologies, and measurement units to gather and organize data; use metric units in measuring, calculating, and reporting results; communicate results of their investigations in appropriate ways (for example, written reports, graphic displays, oral presentations).

Geography - Standard 1. Students know how to use and construct maps, globes, and other geographic tools to locate and derive information about people, places, and environments.

1.1 Students know how to use maps, globes, and other geographic tools to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective and are able to interpret and construct maps, globes, models, charts, and geographic databases.

Standard 5. Students understand the effects of interactions between human and physical systems and the changes in meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources.

5.3 Students know the changes that occur in the meaning, use, location, distribution, and importance of resources and are able to describe why people have different viewpoints with respect to resource use.

Mathematics - Standard 1. Students develop number sense and use numbers and number relationships in problem-solving situations and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems. They are able to use relationships among fractions, decimals, and percents, including the concepts of ratio and proportion, in problem-solving situations.

Standard 4. Students use geometric concepts, properties, and relationships in problem-solving situations and communicate the reasoning used in solving these problems. Students are able to solve problems involving perimeter and area.

National Content Standards: Geography - Standard: 1. Understands the characteristic and uses of maps, globes, and other geographic tools and technologies.

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

Uses thematic maps (e.g. patterns of population, disease, economic features, rainfall, vegetation).

Mathematics - Standard: 4. Understands and applies basic and advanced properties of the concepts of measurement.

Level III: Middle School/Jr. High (Grades 6-8)

Understands formulas for measures (e.g. area, volume, surface area).

Selects and uses appropriate estimation techniques (e.g.) overestimate, underestimate, range of estimates) to solve real-world problems.

Theme: Wilderness Areas in terms of size, proximity to population centers, and natural features.

NPS focus: Public Law 39-535 (Organic Act), Public Law 88-577 Stat. 890 (Wilderness Act), Public Law (Eastern Wilderness Act),

Public Law 95-250 (Redwood National Park Expansion Act),

Vail Agenda Education Committee Report (Strategic Goal #2; Action Plan 16) and (Strategic Goal #3; Action Plan 52,62),

Curecanti and Black Canyon Themes: Natural Resources/Wilderness

Environmental concepts: Everything must fit how and where it lives (community).

There is no free lunch (energy flow).

Environmental learning hierarchy: Ecological principles, problem solving processes, decision making procedures

Background information: Wilderness preservation is a uniquely American concept, strengthened by tradition and historical precedence, and furthered by modern efforts to maintain an invaluable legacy. With fathers in John Muir, Gifford Pinchot, Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Marshall, and Aldo Leopold, the United States of America began a movement that today defines the greatness and magnitude of the American landscape. The actual definition originated in the USA with the belief that lands would maintain their highest value when left in their natural state. This conviction led to the creation of the National Wilderness Preservation System. This extensive network includes over 660 federally designated wilderness areas which are, respectively, managed by the National Park System, the U.S. Forest System, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Land Management. Wilderness areas exist within national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges, and within B.L.M. lands in all but six states. Their sizes vary just as diversely, ranging in area from five acres to nearly ten million.

Materials: Federal Lands in the Fifty States Map, National Geographic Society (1996). The National Wilderness Preservation System 1964-1999 Map, National Geographic/Trails Illustrated (1999), state highway map, topographic map, graph paper for each student. The Wilderness Act of 1964 (P.L. 88-577, 78 Stat. 890; 16 U.S.C. 1121 (note), 1131-1136).

I. INSTRUCTIONAL OUTCOMES

Knowledge level: Students will be able to create an accurately scaled, thematic map based on Wilderness Areas managed by four federal agencies and be able to calculate area in total acreage and hectares.

Comprehension level: Students will be able to identify the locations and explain the boundaries of Wilderness Areas and to compare/contrast size using estimation and scale/ratio to show total acreage.

II. ANTICIPATORY SET

"What is Wilderness? Wilderness is a place where the presence of humans is not evident. There are no roads, buildings, or other structures built by humans. No mechanized equipment is allowed in the Wilderness. No ATV's, chainsaws, or mountain bikes. It is a place where we can see the world in its natural state. It is land that is untrammeled. What does untrammeled mean? Let's look it up in the dictionary. Untrammeled, U-N-T-R-A-M-M-E-L-E-D. Hmmm. It's not in the dictionary. What part of this word might we find in the dictionary? Let's look it up. T-R-A-M-M-E-L-E-D. Caught, confined, shackled. So untrammeled means something that is not confined or restricted. Wilderness!

"Wilderness is land retaining its primeval character. What does that mean? Primeval, P-R-I-M-E-V-A-L. Let's look up this word in the dictionary. Primeval, primitive, belonging to the first or earliest period of time. It is where natural processes are still occurring and human activity is limited. Humans can only be visitors. This allows us to experience wild places that have remained relatively unchanged throughout history."

"Where can we find Wilderness? Wilderness Areas are found in wetlands, grasslands, swamps, deserts, forests, tundra, and mountain peaks. There are over 660 Wilderness Areas located in almost every state within our country. There are only six states that do not have Wilderness. Can you guess which ones they are? Kansas, Iowa, Rhode Island, Delaware, Maryland, and Connecticut. The largest Wilderness Area is in the largest state, Alaska. It is in the largest National Park, Wrangell-St. Elias. It was established in 1980 and has almost 10,000,000 acres. The smallest Wilderness Area is located off the coast of Florida. It is Pelican Island Wilderness Area, established in 1970 and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is only 5 acres and was the first National Wildlife Refuge established in the United States by President Theodore 'Teddy' Roosevelt in 1903."

Who manages Wilderness Areas? They exist within: National Forests and Grasslands managed by the U.S. Forest Service; National Park sites protected by the National Park Service; National Wildlife Refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Does anyone know the similarities or differences between the four federal agencies that manage our Wilderness Areas? Two of the agencies are guided by a multiple use act and two have a mission with a single purpose. The Multiple Use-Sustained Yield Act (P.L. 86-517) established long-standing management policy for the forests for recreation, wildlife, fish, range forage, water and timber. The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management are governed by this act. The National Park Service has a mission ...'to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.' The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is dedicated to the management of ...'wildlife refuges, areas for the protection and conservation of fish and wildlife that are threatened with extinction, wildlife ranges, game ranges, wildlife management areas, and waterfowl production areas.' Even though each of these four federal agencies manages their lands differently, Wilderness Areas that lie within each of their boundaries must be managed in a similar manner. The Wilderness Act of 1964 states that wilderness ...is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain. ...retaining its primeval character, without permanent improvements or human inhabitation, protected to preserve its natural conditions. The four federal agencies that manage Wilderness Areas are committed to accomplishing this directive.

III. TEACHING PROCEDURE/METHODOLOGY

"When one is traveling in a Wilderness Area, or for that matter anywhere, they should have a map. Maps can be planimetric or topographic and are used to inform us about the features of a geographic area. A map can also help us get us from one location to another. Highway maps used by motorists are planimetric. They do not show elevation. If you are driving on a road you usually do not have to concern yourself with hills and valleys. That is why we would use a topographic map when we are on a hike. A "topo" map shows us elevations and depressions on the earth's surface. These changes in the surface of the earth are shown by contour lines."

"Another type of map is a thematic map. These maps have a very specialized function. They are not designed for navigation. They are not used to get us from one location to another. They are designed to visually provide information. They show us information about a specific topic or theme. The map we are going to view today is a thematic map that represents Wilderness Areas managed by four federal agencies, the Bureau of Land Management, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, all within the Department of Interior. The fourth agency is in the Department of Agriculture. Can anyone tell me what agency that is? Correct, the U.S. Forest Service."

Distribute NWPS Maps. "As we look at the map of the National Wilderness Preservation System, we can see there are various colors associated with the Wilderness Areas. What do these colors represent? We can find the meaning of these colors by looking at the map legend. What is a legend? A legend is a story about an event. A legend on a map tells us a story about the map. It provides a brief description of what we are looking at on the map. Map legends tell us what the various symbols and colors represent. What else can we see on this map? State boundaries, rivers, large bodies of water, plains, and mountains. Where are most of the Wilderness Areas located? Why do you think they are found mostly in the western United States? When we settled this country from where did we start (east coast)? Where is most of our nation's population located (east coast)?"

"As we settled our country, moving inland from the east coast, we used most of the available land to build homesteads, farms, towns, and cities. By the time we reached the Mississippi River we realized that we had not set aside any 'open space' for use by all the people. It became apparent that we had better start setting land aside for the future. That is why our Wilderness Areas are found mostly in the western states on land owned by the federal government. The land in the east had been almost completely developed. The public lands in the west are special lands set aside for all of us to enjoy. Our country's Wilderness Areas are very special treasures that have been protected for the future."

"How can we find out how many acres (43,560 square feet or 1/640 of a square mile) each Wilderness Area has? We can use the Internet (http://www.wilderness.net/) and investigate each of the more than 660 locations. If we were to look at Wilderness Areas in metric units we would be using hectares instead of acres. To convert acres to hectares you need to multiply the number of acres by 0.405. If you know the hectares but want to know acres you can multiply the hectares by 2.471.

"We know the largest and smallest Wilderness Areas. Using the NWPS Map let's locate the Wrangell-St. Elias and Pelican Island Wilderness Areas. Now let's look at some Wilderness Areas across the United States.

IV. CHECK FOR STUDENT UNDERSTANDING

Ask students about the NWPS Map-

"Where are the largest areas (total acreage) of Wilderness located?" (Western U.S.)

"Where are the most (frequency) Wilderness Areas?" (CA, AK)

"Why do you think they are located in this region (western) of the U.S.?"

(settlement pattern of the U.S.)

"Where is most of the Wilderness in our country? (West) Where are the population centers of our country?" (East)

"What are the geographical features of the regions where most Wilderness Area are located? (mountainous, rough terrain)"

"What Wilderness Areas are in our state? /Why are there no Wilderness Areas in our state." (there are 41 in Colorado)

"How large is the Wilderness Area in Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park? How do you know this?" (15,599 acres; Wilderness.net website)

V. GUIDED PRACTICE

"I have selected the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area. It is located in Montana, has 920,343 acres, and is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. The other Wilderness Area I have selected is the Okefenokee Wilderness Area in Georgia. It has 353,981 acres and is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Can you locate these two Wilderness Areas on the NWPS map?

Distribute graph paper. "Using the graph paper, we need to establish the number of acres each square will represent so that we can make a thematic map of each of the Wilderness Areas I have selected. How many squares are there on the graph paper? To find out, I can count each one of the squares or I can multiply the number of squares on one side by the number of squares on the other side to determine the area of this rectangle. There are 952 squares on the graph paper. How many acres will each of the squares on the graph paper have to represent so that the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area will fit on this sheet of graph paper? Yes, 1,000 acres. How many squares will it take to represent the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area? (a little over 920). How many for the Okefenokee Wilderness Area? (almost 354).

"Let us estimate the size difference or the ratio in size of the two Wilderness Areas. What is the size difference of these two Wilderness Areas? Is the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area 10 times bigger than the Okefenokee? 5x? 2x as large? Yes! The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area is approximately two and one half times as large as the Okefenokee Wilderness Area. How can we mathematically prove this? We can divide the total acreage of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area (920,343) by the total acreage of the Okefenokee (353,981) and get 2.59. If we round that up we will get 2.6. To confirm our calculation we can multiply 353,981 x 2.6. Our answer should be the total acreage of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area. We get 920,351! Almost the exact answer we were looking for. So we can say that the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area is 2.6 times larger than the Okefenokee Wilderness Area".

"Lets convert our acreage to hectares. A hectare is a metric measurement of surface area. It is equal to 10,000 square meters. In order to calculate the number of hectares, knowing the acreage, we multiple the number of acres by 0.405. The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area, 920,343 acres is 372,739 hectares. The Okefenokee Wilderness Area, 353,981 acres, is 143,362 hectares. If we were to draw thematic maps of the two Wilderness Areas using hectares instead of acres, would our ratio or scale remain the same? Yes. The scale or ratio can be any unit of measurement and will always remain the same. Using acres or hectares, the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area will always be 2.59 times larger than the Okefenokee Wilderness Area. What if we used square inches? The ratio or scale would still be the same. The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area would still be 2.59 times larger than the Okefenokee.

"Using the graph paper, with each square representing 1,000 acres, let's draw to scale the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area. It can be any shape you want it to. We are only trying to represent the size of the Wilderness Area. Now let's draw to scale the Okefenokee Wilderness Area inside the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area. You can place it anywhere inside of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area that you want to. It can also be any shape. We are attempting to tell a story with a graph. We are showing people that one of these Wilderness Areas is 2.6 times as large as the other. Now let's place a legend on our map and a scale to describe what everything represents.

VI. INDEPENDENT PRACTICE

"Now I want you to select two Wilderness Areas. One must be smaller than the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area and larger than the Okefenokee Wilderness Area and it must be managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Then find one that is smaller than the Okefenokee Wilderness Area and managed by the National Park Service. Draw them to scale on your theme map. After you have drawn them on your map, convert the acres of each of the Wilderness Areas you have selected to hectares. Be prepared to tell the class about the Wilderness Area that you researched. You can use the Internet to get your data."

VII. CLOSURE

After the students have completed their investigation and reported to the class. "Wilderness Areas exist in all but six states, and are found from the lowest elevations to the tops of our highest mountains. They are found in wetlands, swamps, deserts, forests, tundra, and mountain peaks. They exist in National Forests, managed by the U.S. Forest Service; National Parks managed by the National Park Service; lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management; and, in National Wildlife Refuges managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. All of us have an opportunity to respect and protect Wilderness Areas in the United States. No matter how large or small a Wilderness Area is, or what agency manages it, that Wilderness Area is a very special place. A Wilderness Area has human and ecological value that is vital to the well-being of the world. The future of Wilderness Areas depends on you and me, and on our friends and families.

VIII. SELF-EVALUATION

Indicate what you judge to have been the strengths of the lesson, what changes you made during the lesson and what changes you would make if you were to teach the unit again.

IX. REFERENCES CITED

The National Wilderness Preservation System 1964-1999 map. The Wilderness Society, Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, National Geographic Maps/Trails Illustrated, Dec. 1999

X. RELATED INTERNET SITES

National Park Service Wilderness

Bureau of Land Management

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

USDA Forest Service

Wilderness.net

The Leopold Education Project

The Wilderness Society

Sierra Club

Did You Know?

Morrow Point Dam

Morrow Point Dam, found within the silent walls of the Black Canyon, was the first thin-arch, double curvature concrete dam built in the United States (completed in 1968).