Managing For Deer, Moose, Elk, Wolves -- And People

The latest edition of Ecological Applications Examines Management Practices in the U.S. National Park Service

The National Park Service incorporates some of the most impressive and important natural systems in the United States of America. Filled with awe-inspiring views, unique natural wonders, and multitudes of native flora and fauna, the parks many seem to many like museums of nature. And to the general public, the NPS staff may seem like a team of curators, charged with preserving a view of what our country looked like before the arrival of Europeans.

But the true role of the NPS is much more complicated and much less static. In the eighty three years since the U.S. Congress established the National Park system, the land management practices of the parks have evolved and changed to meet both public approval and logistic feasibility. In addition, the study of ecological systems in and around the parks have revealed new insights into what may or may not be ecologically appropriate decisions regarding park management.

The February edition of Ecological Applications presents a special feature on wildlife management in the US National Park system. Included are three case studies which were presented during a workshop at the Ecological Society of America's 1996 Annual Meeting.

Of Elephants and Blind Men: Deer Management in the U.S. National Parks by William Porter of the State University of New York at Syracuse and Brian Underwood of the Biological Resources Division, United States Geological Survey, examines the controversial issue of white-tailed deer population surges in eastern National Parks. "Like blind men touching different parts of an elephant and disagreeing about its form," the authors write, "those engaged in the debate about deer management in parks are viewing different parts of the ecological system. None has seen the entire system, and consequently there is neither common agreement on the nature of the pro

Contact: Alison Gillespie
Ecological Society of America

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