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  September 30, 2014  
 
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Environmental

 

A. Stewardship

  1. State Parks must contain the best and most representative example of available resources, both natural and cultural.
    • Our state parks offer natural and aesthetic qualities that make each park unique, such as native plants, trees, landscapes, space for families and gatherings, gateways to our communities, great views, etc.
    • A healthy state park system and our open space benefit both our citizens and our natural and cultural resources. Overuse, fragmentation, and loss of natural areas has damaged our ability to enjoy the outdoors and has threatened many of our wildlife and plant resources. The continued loss of important recreation opportunities and the degradation of environmentally sensitive areas have created a deep sense of loss among many Americans. There is great frustration about our decreasing ability to experience natural settings, enjoy our abundance of wildlife, have access to unspoiled lands, or to be enriched by a drive through a beautiful area.
    • Acre by acre, year by year, we are converting our treasured open space to urban and suburban uses. According to the U. S. Department of Agriculture's latest survey, the amount of developed land in this country increased by 14 million acres between 1982 and 1992. The new development was carved out of forests, farms, and range land. The disappearance of range land can be seen in every corner of the country
  2. State parks must zealously protect and preserve those resource for all time.
    • Improving of state park systems with the conservation of lands and waters will yield benefits to help address the problems of land and overuse.
    • State parks promote the preserving of natural ecosystems.
    • State parks require constant tending, without it they would gradually erode and disappear.
    • "The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
    • In Money Magazine, a 1995 poll for Best Places to Live - clean water rated as the number one priority for the fourth time in five years, followed by clean air in the number two slot.
    • Our efforts to protect state parks today will make our children and future generations proud of how we protect the natural, environmental, recreational and cultural resources in our care.
    • "Conservation is a state of harmony between men and land." - Aldo Leopold

B. Open Space

 

  1. State Parks must contain the best and most representative example of available resources, both natural and cultural.
    • Providing and preserving state parks and open space enhance the desirability of an area as well as contribute to the safety and health of the state's inhabitants.
    • State parks are of all people who appreciate the beauty of open space and the importance of preserving our historical heritage.
    • Many Americans value both their open space and their leisure time.
  2. State parks must be thoughtfully planned and designed to harmonize with their settings and to accentuate positive features.
    • If the formation of the National Park System is revered as the "best idea America ever had", then the formation of State Park systems must be the "best idea that individual states ever had."
    • State parks offer beautiful scenery, clean air pleasant surroundings, tranquility and other aesthetic qualities that help balance the stress of everyday life. Even non-users can enjoy a state park's beauty as a distant view or while driving past it.
    • Many non-economic values are associated with state parks - keeping our history alive, preserving wildlife and natural wonders and safeguarding our cultural images.
    • Senior citizens that use state parks have identified the aesthetic amenities, environmental variety and contact with nature of high importance to them.

C. Public Use and Support

  • State Parks must provide for a balanced program of resource based recreation of appropriate types and amounts.
    • Many forms of recreation have very little impact on the environment. Nature and water are environmental features which evoke pleasure and relaxation in most persons. Natural settings with natural sources of water can benefit people while being virtually untouched.
    • Recreation activity on state parks has a positive impact on environmental attitudes and perceptions.
    • State Park Departments through the provision of outdoor, natural based activities can provide education about the protection and preservation of natural areas while encouraging appropriate uses of outdoor areas for activities.
  • State parks must foster environmental sensitivity and instill pride in our heritage.
    • We must stress that our state parks are important because of what they teach us about ourselves; then perhaps our children will understand and treasure them.
    • Field trips to state parks and historic sites can significantly increase school children's attitudes towards the protection and conservation of state park resources.
    • Outdoor education/recreation is the best available method for fostering environmental sensitivity. Long-term experience with relatively pristine environments beginning at an early age has prompted active citizens and educators to be involved and successful in environmental issues.
    • Public involvement as volunteers on state parks allows opportunities for the public to develop awareness of recreational and environmental values and can provide valuable input into planning of state park areas and appropriate recreation activities.
    • "Recreation development is a job not of building roads into lovely country, but of building receptivity into the still unlovely human mind." - Aldo Leopold
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