U.S. National Park Service Conservation Study Institute Doctoral Fellowship at the University of VermontPosted: January 17, 2013
U.S. National Park Service Conservation Study Institute Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Vermont
The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont is pleased to offer the Conservation Study Institute
Doctoral Fellowship. The fellowship supports doctoral study in the Rubenstein School and is jointly sponsored by the Conservation Study Institute and the Rubenstein School. The Conservation Study Institute is an entity of the National Park Service that advances innovation in the stewardship of the national park system. The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources offers degrees in higher e
ducation at the BS, MS, and Ph.D. levels. In preparation for the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service, the doctoral fellowship will address “Parks in Their Second Century” and is designed to help inform the National Park Service in ways that will help it meet the opportunities and challenges of its second century. The doctoral student will be housed in the Rubenstein School’s Park Studies Laboratory and will participate in the Lab’s long-term program of research in the national parks. For more information on the fellowship, please contact Professor Robert Manning:
National Parks & Conservation Association post on the Huffington Post about the Grand Canyon and NOISE!Posted: August 14, 2012
National Parks: Are We Giving Up on Peace and Quiet to Allow More Noise?
Posted: 08/07/2012 6:39 pm
After a 14-hour drive and, hopefully, a good night’s rest, you get the family up early and together you hike the trail or stand at an overlook along the rim. There it is before you; one of the most magnificent sights on the face of the earth, a place that Theodore Roosevelt said could not be improved upon, the Grand Canyon. As you stop, basking in its glory, you are grateful to share the moment with your family. Then the perfection is shattered. The “whomp, whomp, whomp” of helicopters hovering above you shatters the quiet. In five minutes you are transported back to hustle and bustle of your busy life and your 12-year-old is now more interested in the helicopter than the vast canyon.
A similar story could be told about Yellowstone National Park, where the sounds of bursting geysers, bubbling mud pots, and chattering trumpeter swans get drowned out by the roar of snowmobiles in the wintertime.
National parks have a “wow factor” that captivates us — incredible views, natural wonders and amazing stories. During these trips, visitors look for experiences where you can take a moment to hear and see new things. If you visit a national park when you are a child, years later when you take your child or your grandchild you expect a similar experience. That is the promise made when a National Park site is designated. Most people come away from their visits inspired by their experience and ready to add another park to their bucket list.
Recently, the National Parks Service (NPS) announced a new winter plan for Yellowstone, which could double the amount of snowmobiles entering the park each day. This is concerning because the technology once promised to become cleaner and quieter is actually getting worse. The snowmobile manufacturers promised to improve these vehicles, but they are noisier and more polluting than the models built seven years ago. Sadly, the National Park Service’s latest proposal to increase snowmobile use is taking us backwards.
Additionally, Congress just weeks ago subverted a nearly final plan to reduce helicopter and other air tour noise heard by visitors enjoying the overlooks and hiking trails in the Grand Canyon. By sneaking in an amendment to the recent transportation bill, Congress carelessly cast aside the time, money, and public involvement spent on developing a new air tour plan for the Grand Canyon. That plan was fair for all visitors — it allowed air tours to continue while identifying areas where visitors on the ground could enjoy noise free areas. While these two actions individually directly impact these two National Parks, on a wider scale they contravene the NPS policies that promise visitors the opportunity to hear natural sounds — a wolf howling, a rushing river, or bursting water from Old Faithful.
Are we going to allow more noise in our National Parks?
National Parks are special and unique places where families can share a sense of wonder and pride that we take care of these awe-inspiring places just as President Roosevelt expressed. Is our generation giving up on the protection we have provided to these places? By downgrading protections for our greatest National Parks in order to allow noisy vehicles to drown out nature, we are not protecting these wonderful experiences so many generations before us have enjoyed. NPCA believes every generation deserves the chance to hear the sounds of nature (not just machines) that people expect in our National Parks.
Calling all Grand Canyon National Park Advocates:
Don’t know if you saw the AZ Republic front page headline the other day, but Congress (mainly Senators McCain and Kyl and Congressman Gosar in the House of Representatives) has basically torpedoed the Overflights EIS by sneaking in an amendment to the enormous transportation bill that just passed. The amendment basically locks in the status quo and may negate any improvements the park would make in the yet-to-be-released Final EIS and Record of Decision. You can read the article here:
Also, please see the attached fact sheet about this current situation. We’re asking for park advocates like you to write letters to the editors to their local newspapers expressing your thoughts (disbelief, displeasure, outrage, all of the above…) about this end run by Congress, the enormous waste of taxpayer dollars, and the disenfranchisement of all of us who weighed in on the draft EIS in order to restore natural quiet in our icon park. Why should noisy commercial air tours be allowed to damage the Grand Canyon’s natural quiet?
To make things easy, here are a few links to the “letter to the editor” forms for newspapers that may be in your area:
Arizona Daily Sun: http://azdailysun.com/html_c0113bdc-e0b2-11e0-b7b2-001cc4c002e0.html
Arizona Republic: http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/sendaletter.html
Prescott Daily Courier: http://www.prescottaz.com/Formlayout.asp?formcall=userform&form=1
Las Vegas Sun: http://www.lasvegassun.com/contact/letters/
Salt Lake City Tribune: http://www.sltrib.com/pages/help/ (scroll down for instructions)
If you don’t see your newspaper listed here, it is easy just to Google it. GCRG has members in all fifty states, so lets’ do a media blitz!
And if you’d also like to decry this Congressional sneak attack and “end run” around the EIS process direct to your Congressional representatives, you can do so at: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/
This was a complete surprise to the NPS and indeed to many other Congressional representatives who are environmental friends as well. It remains to be seen how the NPS will respond and what the fate of the EIS will be. But we’re not ready to give up….
Thanks for your help and please forward as you see fit.
Grand Canyon River Guides
The morning report for the National Park Service on April 10, 2009 reported a man was given jail time and probation for threatening an NPS ranger. The man was originally in trouble for camping in National Parks without the necessary paperwork.
See “Permit Outlaw” Sentenced For Threatening Ranger. I’ve never heard of the term Permit Outlaw, we just always called people who don’t have permits pirates. However this is an example of how a minor problem escalates when you lose your temper.