Grand Canyon

Should Natural Areas Be Preserved — or Conserved for Our Benefit?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | July 17th, 2012 | 7 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: arctic, biodiversity, cities, conservation, conservation efforts, conserve, Eco Travel, endangered-species, environment, environmental, environmental activists, environmental awareness, environmental issues, environmentalism, environmentalist, forestry, Galápagos Islands, Gifford Pinchot, Grand Canyon, John Muir, natural areas, nature, people, Peter Kareiva, preservation, preserve, pristine, save the environment, species, The Nature Conservancy, travel, U.S. Forest Service, wilderness, Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National Park

In the environmental world, it’s characterized as the classic battle: Should wild areas be preserved for their intrinsic qualities or conserved for their resources? In other words, should nature be used for “the greatest good for the greatest number of people for the longest time,” as nineteenth-century progressive environmentalist Gifford Pinchot put it; or should the wilderness be protected and revered without human intrusions, a view espoused by romantic environmentalist John Muir?

Today, with a burgeoning population encroaching on our remaining wild areas and economic help scarce, many would say that Pinchot’s beliefs are more realistic for the modern world. In fact, there are even those, such as Peter Kareiva, The Nature Conservancy’s chief scientist, who would take Pinchot’s notion a step further: Natural areas must be managed to benefit humans, if they are to survive at all.

Should We Stop Designating Lands As “National Parks”?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | February 15th, 2010 | 16 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: Bryce Canyon National Park, Grand Canyon, helicopter tours, Ken Burns, national parks, snowmobiles, wildlife, Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

National parks need to be killed.

It’s a shocking idea I came across recently. Ken Burns’s newest PBS series aside, they’re doing more harm than good to our places of natural grandeur and dwindling native eco-systems.

Is It Best to Keep Beloved Natural Places Secret?

Candice Gaukel Andrews by Candice Gaukel Andrews | April 14th, 2009 | 7 Comments
topic: Eco Travel, Green Living | tags: Grand Canyon, Montana, natural landmarks, natural places, secret places, Southwest, spiritual, spiritual places, Yaak Valley, Zen

secret_1Like all traipsers through woods and walkers of rivers, I have a few favorite secret places. I could go on and on about their beauty, about what makes them so different from any other location on Earth, about the feelings they elicit from deep down in my core. But if I tell you, you might visit them and then bring your friends; and then they wouldn’t be my secret undisturbed refuges anymore.