Leopold – 01 Introductory Letter

Wildlife Management in the National Parks:

The Leopold Report

 The Honorable Stewart Udall
Secretary of the Interior
Washington 25, D.C.

Dear Mr. Secretary:

Your Advisory Board on Wildlife Management transmits herewith a report entitled “Wildlife Management in the National Parks.”

In formulating the conclusions presented in this report, the Board made a major effort to familiarize itself with actual conditions in the parks and monuments. The full Board visited Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks where the elk situation has been acute. Individual Board members inspected a number of other parks which in the judgment of the National Park Service have current wildlife problems. Between us in the last few years we have seen nearly all of the major parks and monuments, including those in Hawaii and Alaska. Our recommendations are based principally upon our own knowledge of the parks and their problems.

Additionally, we have endeavored to understand and to evaluate the full specimen of opinions and viewpoints on park management. In September at Jackson Hole the Board met with five directors of state game departments. In December in Washington we met with five executive officers of conservation organizations. Many other individuals and groups have offered advice and information. All of this was informative and helpful, but we want to make clear to you that our conclusions were not reached by weighing opinions and counter-opinions. The conclusions represent our own collective thinking.

The report as here presented is conceptual rather than statistical in approach. We read thousands of pages of reports, documents, and statistical tables, but used these data only sparingly to illustrate specific points. Emphasis is placed on the philosophy of park management and the ecologic principles involved. Our suggestions are intended to enhance the esthetic, historical, and scientific values of the parks to the American public, vis a vis the mass recreational values. We sincerely hope that you will find it feasible and appropriate to accept this concept of park values.

Respectfully submitted,

Stanley A. Cain
Clarence M. Cottam
Ira A. Gabrielson
Thomas L. Kimball
A. Starker Leopold, Chairman

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