The first Cooperative Park Studies Unit (CPSU) network pairs the NPS with the University of Washington. This is the first of 23 such collaborations across the nation that give students at participating universities hands-on experience in national parks. Park Service personnel also begin to teach in the universities, sharing their practical knowledge of the application of science to park management.
James Quinlan and other researchers work to determine the extent of the karst system in the greater Mammoth Cave National Park area. They document groundwater flow paths and contamination into the park from Horse Cave, Park City, and rural areas. Their work leads to a regional sewer system to protect park resources and results in better legal protection of water quality not only in Kentucky but also in other areas with karst resources.
The Yellowstone grizzly bear is placed on the Endangered Species list. There are many reasons for this, including the killing of dangerous bears by park managers and loss of habitat. The population decline underscores the poor understanding of bear behavior because of inadequate scientific research on the species’ dietary habits. Additional research, extending into the 1980s, will bring policy changes that will lead to innovations in bear management.
President Jimmy Carter signs the Clean Air Act Amendments, which set forth extra protections for air quality in national parks and wilderness areas from air pollution and establish a national visibility goal of “the prevention of any future, and the remedying of any existing, impairment of visibility … from manmade air pollution” affecting these areas. The amendments recognize that air quality in national parks should not be degraded.
The act to establish Redwood National Park (1970) is amended, reaffirming that the highest standard of protection and care should be afforded to management of the resources, values, and purposes for which parks have been established. Uses must be consistent with the Organic Act and only Congress may direct deviation from this standard.