Proceedings of the First Park Naturalists’ Training Conference, November 1 to 30, 1929
SCIENTIFIC ASPECTS OF THE PARK PROTECTION PROGRAM
PARTICIPATION OF THE EDUCATIONAL DIVISION IN THE PLANNING OF ROADS, TRAILS AND OTHER IMPROVEMENTS TO PROTECT SCIENTIFIC ASSETS.
By C. Frank Brockman
The features of scientific interest are one of the major factors to be considered in the parks, and it is obviously our duty to protect such features so that this significance shall not be destroyed. In the development of physical needs in the parks this factor should be pre-eminent; and although roads, trails and other improvements are absolutely necessary to a certain extent in making the public acquainted with the natural history of the region it must be a part of the work of the educational division to aid wherever possible in making such developments as unobtrusive as possible. As an example, the engineering consideration of road construction should be tempered with an understanding of the scientific features of the region, for one of the scientific (as well as educational) values is the natural condition of the park.
In every park there are certain outstanding features of scientific value, glaciers, animal life, forests, etc., which are of such calibre that they are worthy of study and a contribution to scientific knowledge. A study of these features should be made; they should be listed and catalogued; their relative value should be ascertained and then tied in with the development proceedings in order that all factors of the administration may be satisfied. It may be necessary to give and take on some points, but at any rate all scientific assets should be thoroughly studied and then fitted into the future plans so that their value for scientific investigation will not be destroyed.
In past years the Engineering Division and the Landscape Division have been primarily active in park development. Just at the present time the Educational Division is beginning to be consulted on the more important projects. This is an extremely important advance because first, in the construction of park improvements scientifically valuable specimens may be destroyed, and secondly, the naturalist is in a position to determine the relative value of each of these scientific assets.