Environmental Management

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 199–207 | Cite as

National parks legislative mandate in the United States of America

  • John Lemons
  • Dean Stout


Natural areas of national parks constitute unique ecological and aesthetic resources. Since the inception of national parks, it has been apparent that they are susceptible to threats that result in significant change and damage. Today, major issues concerning management of parks relate to questions of expanded visitor use and what types of facilities are to be deemed appropriate, that is, the dilemma of preservation versus use. In the United States of America, resolution of this dilemma must, strictly speaking, be based upon intent and meaning of Congressional legislation. The traditional interpretation of legislation in the U.S. has been to provide for a balance of use and preservation. However, extensive review of the literature of national park policy reveals a remarkable lack of elaboration and clarification of legislative meaning. Based upon a critical analysis of pertinent legislation, which has heretofore been ignored, we provide an interpretation of legislative meaning which strongly supports a policy of preservation of park resources.

Key words

U.S. National Park policy Preservation 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Lemons
    • 1
  • Dean Stout
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Environmental and Biological StudiesNew England CollegeHenniker
  2. 2.Bishop

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