Thursday, February 17, 2011

New US Forest Service book calls for new era of parks and wilderness management

The Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute in Missoula today announced the release of a groundbreaking new book, "Beyond Naturalness," which focuses on parks and wilderness management in an era of global change. The book provides a synthesis of current thinking, contributed by experts in this field and offers critical questions, tools and techniques for managing into the future. This book, subtitled Rethinking Park and Wilderness Stewardship in an Era of Rapid Change, will be the “game-changer of the first decade of the 21st century” says David Harmon, Director of the George Wright Society. The book challenges our perception of what “natural” means. The authors set out a variety of conservation approaches and identify a realm of future management strategies, providing “cutting-edge guidance to address pressing challenges in protected-area conservation,” according to Nikita Lopoukhine, Chair of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, World Commission on Protected Areas. The basic premise of Beyond Naturalness, and the very reason why it will spark critical thinking and thought-provoking debates across the nation, is the assertion that the traditional guiding concept for park and wilderness stewardship—preserving naturalness—is no longer the best option in today’s changing world. “The true value of Beyond Naturalness,” according to Dr. G. Sam Foster, Director of the Rocky Mountain Research Station, “is to move us beyond critiques of current wildland management philosophies and practices. Instead of focusing on what is no longer working, the authors offer a philosophical shift in thinking about natural processes and accompanying management options for the future designed to proactively tackle the challenges that threaten the core physical and spiritual character of these special places.” This book was collaboratively edited by U.S.D.A. Forest Service and University of Montana researchers, with contributing authors, representing leaders in this field, from the Forest Service; the National Park Service; the U.S. Geological Survey; The Wilderness Society; The Nature Conservancy; Parks Canada; the University of Alaska; the University of California, Santa Cruz; the University of Montana; the University of North Carolina; the University of Western Australia; and the University of Victoria, Canada.

Forest Service Press Release

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