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Nat'l Rec. Areas

New Nat'l Parks


Wildlife Management in the National Parks

Wildlife Management on National Recreation Areas

By precedent and logic, the management of wildlife resources on the national recreation areas can be viewed in a very different light than in the park system proper. National recreation areas are by definition multiple use in character as regards allowable types of recreation. Wildlife management can be incorporated into the operational plans of these areas with public hunting as one objective. Obviously, hunting must be regulated in time and place to minimize conflict with other uses, but it would be a mistake for the National Park Service to be unduly restrictive of legitimate hunting in these areas. Most of the existing national recreation areas are federal holdings surrounding large water impoundments; there is little potentiality for hunting. Three national seashore recreational areas on the East Coast (Hatteras, Cape Cod, and Padre Island) offer limited waterfowl shooting. But some of the new areas being acquired or proposed for acquisition will offer substantial hunting opportunity for a variety of game species. This opportunity should be developed with skill, imagination and (we would hopefully suggest) with enthusiasm.

On these areas as elsewhere, the key to wildlife abundance is a favorable habitat. The skills and techniques of habitat manipulation applicable to parks are equally applicable on the recreation areas. The regulation of hunting, on such areas as are deemed appropriate to open for such use, should be in accord with prevailing state regulations.

New National Parks

A number of new national parks are under consideration. One of the critical issues in the establishment of new parks will be the manner in which the wildlife resources are to be handled. It is our recommendation that the basic objectives and operating procedures of new parks be identical with those of established parks. It would seem awkward indeed to operate a national park system under two sets of ground rules. On the other hand, portions of several proposed parks are so firmly established as traditional hunting grounds that impending closure of hunting may preclude public acceptance of park status. In such cases it may be necessary to designate core areas as national parks in every sense of the word, establishing protective buffer zones in the form of national recreation areas where hunting is permitted. Perhaps only through compromises of this sort will the park system be rounded out.


Last Modified: Wed, Dec 29 1999 07:08:48 am PDT

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