News FocusConservation

Bringing Science to the National Parks

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Science  07 Apr 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5463, pp. 34-37
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5463.34

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Critics have long charged that the National Park Service manages parks to make them look good to visitors--a strategy that can lead to very different decisions from those ecology might dictate. Now a new program aims to bolster the science underlying park management, but it will require a culture change among agency leaders, who by and large have come from the ranks of park rangers rather than natural resource managers. The goal of the new program, the Natural Resource Challenge, which is just getting under way, is to gather enough data to enable managers to anticipate problems rather than lurch from crisis to crisis.