National Parks: Environmental Threats and Protection
Protecting the Habitat of Endangered Bird or Timber Logging?
Walker and David argue that every person is required to protect the endangered species because; they have a duty to protect the earth, including these birds, for future generations (127). The societies do not possess the species, but they are charged with looking after their well-being. Thus, it is the society’s duty to recognize the important role of these birds in the ecosystem. Besides acting as an aesthetic value, they are unique because of their rarity and contribute to natural processes.
On the other hand, logging activities advocated by timber companies, harm the ecosystem. Although they support society by creating employment, in the long run, they are a source of ecosystem disturbance. Thus, on responding to the point of compromise between timber logging and protection of the habitat of an endangered bird, I can argue that it is a good compromise logging with the perspective of protecting the endangered bird habitat.
Environmental Threats affecting National Parks
Climate change is of significant concern to all well-meaning citizens of the world. Deal (44) states “Climate change is a serious, urgent and compelling issue”. Climate change is real because the whole world has in the recent past witnessed unpredictable climatic conditions.
Because of weather unpredictability, economic activities like farming cannot be properly timed, and desertification is on the rise. Climate change has had a far reaching effect on the survival of National parks across the world. Deal accepts the fact that climate change, unless mitigated, is likely to cause the extinction of National parks across the world (87). For example, different species of plants and animals react differently to the climatic changes.
This is because; some of them succeed well in warm temperatures. Hence, they migrate when the temperatures are low while others do well in cold temperatures and so, they become scarce in a warm climate. Despite the fact that temperature is one of the factors necessitating climate change, light also plays a significant role.
Pollution is becoming a serious issue affecting the welfare of wildlife. Noise, water, air and soil among others, are the chief forms of pollutions threatening the survival of national parks across the world. Kusler and Teresa (234) notes that sound created by vehicles and manufacturing industries alter the pattern in which animal communicate, prey and mate.
Kusler and Teresa (234) further argue that many species of animal evolved with a hearing sensitivity. Hence, their hearing is increasingly compromised by noise (242). Owing to the fact that national parks are under security against the stretches of urban centers, noise transmitted into the parks from the immediate roads and airplanes flying overhead pose a severe problem.
Water plays a significant role in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. However, its pollution with human and industrial waste and chemicals among others, has profoundly threatened the existence of national parks. Water pollutions cause chemical compounds to be added to the watershed swaying the balance of an ecosystem. This causes a threat to natural wildlife of aquatic environments (McNeely 93).
For example, amphibians tend to be sensitive to pollution because they absorb chemicals in the water through their skins. Perhaps, this is one reason why amphibian community is in danger presently. Similarly, younger animals are more sensitive to chemical elements, especially those that depict organic compounds. This is because still enduring the biological changes associated with evolution. This influence ranges from biological result such as dilution of asphyxiation and variation of neurochemistry.
McNeely accepts that soil pollution has caused the National parks to have insufficient oxygen in soil, development of acid soils that have resulted in plants being burned, creation of new soil related diseases and eliminating nutrients. Similarly, it has established a new generation of infestations in the soil affecting the growth of plants and survival of soil borne organisms.
Sustaining US National Parks
For the most part of the first century of the National Park experience, the population of animal and plants on land has been immeasurable in the US. This has been a result of US vast ocean and land coverage. Hence, the US needs to recognize this possibility and develop critical strategies for sustaining them. According to Pirages protecting nature is a sustainable approach which the government should embrace (199).
The US should uphold the principle of preserving the park resources not to be “impaired”. This should entail a comprehensive focus on the conservation of ecosystem and the biodiversity therein. Also, the United States should enhance safety of aquatic and marine systems. The process should occur at local, national and international level involving major stakeholders (Pirages 199). Similarly, the action to protect the National Park should not be constrained; it should extend outside the parks. It should also extensively involve states, cities, private sectors and counties among others.
The United States should adopt strategies and advance in training. This will make sustainability of National park an integrated process. The strategy should entail forming hubs for environmental advances that show sustainable practices and skills practices that teach the public about their importance and benefits. Initiative in energy recycling and efficiency has gained popularity in recent years (Pirages 203).
The government should assist in developing more of this initiative, although some parks have implemented some strategies to reduce pollution, waste and save fuel, their efforts remain uncoordinated and scattered. A comprehensive nationwide guarantee is needed. With over 300 million visitors annually, the United States national parks are privileged to display active conservational practices that exemplify the natural knowledge of preserving a practical and vigorous national park.
Policies for Using and managing Forests, Grasslands, Nature reserves, parks, wildlife refuges, Biological hotspots and Areas with deteriorating ecosystems
Conserving and sustaining forests, grasslands, nature reserves, parks, wildlife refuges, biological hotspots and areas with deteriorating ecosystems are the major challenges of modern times. It has been recognized by the global community that these challenges are connected and need a coordinated response.
The protection of these resources is essential in the fight against reducing their extinction and achieves sustainable development. As a sustainable guru of the world, the features of my policies for using and managing these resources will entail creating awareness and education, advocating for stronger institutions, embracing technology.
A more fundamental strategy for minimizing the extinction of these resources is to alter human tastes and desires. Whereas fundamental human wants such as shelter, food and water are not largely adaptable; other needs are often responsive to external influences. Public education through awareness can contribute at altering human perceptions.
For example, grasslands provide vital ecological services such as; erosion control, soil formation, and storage of atmospheric carbon dioxide in biomass among others (Miller and Scott 234). Hence, educating the population about the dangers caused by overgrazing can help in sustaining the resource. Also, if people are aware of the effects of their actions on the ecosystems of which they are part of, they may make more informed choices (Miller and Scott 234).
This will reduce deforestation activities, awareness of biological hotspots, effective handling of grassland areas, the importance of preserving nature reserves and parks, reduce wildlife refuge and appreciate the need for conserving ecosystem. Similarly, National parks face many environmental threats.
For example, parks in the developing countries are faced with illegal entry of people in search of game animals, wood and other products they need in their daily lives. Loggers and miners also perform illegal activities in the park such as killing animals to obtain and sell their products. These activities are a threat to survival of National Parks, thus, if people are educated, they can realize the importance of sustaining these rare resources.
The governments should establish strong, coherent and efficient institutions, which should be in charge of managing these resources. The institution established should have a coherent structure and functions which should be able to assist it in implementing demanding management principles and practices (Kusler and Teresa 125).
Also, the management structure of these institutions should have a political backing; these will allow it to have a political backing to accommodate political interests. Relevant regulations should be instituted to reduce the incidences of illegal deforestation, protecting grasslands, nature reserves, parks and wildlife refuges, biological hotspots and areas which are prone to ecosystem imbalance.
Technology plays a tremendous role in sustaining the aforementioned resources because it is vital in which the society interact with the environment. Technology is used to extract, modify these resources and make a human being adapt to their man made living space.
Kusler and Teresa (140) term technology in this context as ” the application of knowledge to achieve set goal or to a solution of a problem; thus, technologies include not only the physical tools used to interact with the environment, but also the processes, symbols and effectors such as language and economic transactions.
These elements serve as an interface between human and enable actions to occur toward the solution of the problem. Technology will help towards supporting, contributing and advancing the sustainable development of these resources by reducing risk; through minimizing their use, creating a negative impact on the earth.
Solutions for protecting and Restoring Wetlands
Wetlands are significant in areas where they exist because they provide economic, ecological and social value to the community. Similarly, wetlands form ecosystems with vast biological productivity, food and shelter for migrating birds and form a habitat for thousands of species.
Wetlands Protection Plan is one of the initiatives which can be used to protect wetland. The initiative involves a comprehensive planning that involves direct wetland protection activities and growth management. The initiative helps the local government to identify lands with valuable resources, economic development potential and environmental importance. Similarly, effective management of a wetland will require the community to recognize it, as a complex issue.
The communities typically include cursory treatment and inventory wetlands with a comprehensive plan. The Wetland Protection Plan is important in restoring wetland because it allows planners to work with the community to create goals, policies and objectives for the plan.
Secondly, land donation or acquisition and acquisition easement. The process occurs in cases where a community may find it effective to control land within a protected area. This can be achieved through buying, ownership or holding a conservation easement that limits development on that land. A conservation easement may also be called the purchase of conservation easements or the purchase of development right. Public ownership of land is necessary to protect environmentally sensitive areas and ensure proper management.
Deal, Kevin H. Wildlife and Natural Resource Management. Connecticut: Cengage Learning. 2010. Print
Kusler, Jon A and Teresa Opheim. Our National Wetland Heritage: A Protection Guide. Washington DC: Environmental Law Institute.1996. Print
McNeely, Jeffrey A. National Parks, Conservation, And Development: The Role of Protected Areas In Sustaining Society: Proceedings of The World Congress on National Parks, Bali, Indonesia. Washington DC. Smithsonian Institution Press. 1984. Print
Miller, Tyler G and Scott Spoolman. Living in the Environment: Concepts, Connections, and Solutions. Connecticut: Cengage Learning. 2009. Print.
Pirages, Dennis. Sustainability as an Evolving Process. Futures (1994): 197-205
Walker, Brian Harrison and David Andrew Salt. Resilience Thinking: Sustaining Ecosystems and People in a Changing World. Washington DC: Island Press. 2006. Print
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