Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Phillip Elden Explains The Difference Between Public Lands

Phillip Elden

Conservationist Phillip Elden believes that our national parks and protected lands are one of our greatest assets. There are more than 250 million acres of parks, memorials, and wildlife refuges throughout the US. But, what is the difference between them all? 
Q: What is a national park? 
Phillip Elden: A national park is a large area of land with many natural resources. Often, parks contain both historical and natural features that deserve protecting for the benefit of us and future generations. Most often, national parks contain a variety of activities, including hiking and fishing. 
Q: How is a national park different from a national forest? 
Phillip Elden: Each type of protected area is beautiful and contains amazing landscapes. However, typically national forests are designated as a buffer for national parks. Often, national forests are utilized for their lumber, with the U.S. Forest Service keeping a close watch on resource depletion and regeneration. 

Q: How many wildlife refuges are there in the United States? 
Phillip Elden: 560, with more being designated often. A wildlife refuge, an idea first put forth by Pres. Roosevelt in 1903, includes recreational areas, including auto tours, canoeing, and hiking. The difference here is that these are designated specifically to protect a certain type of wildlife. Fortunately, national wildlife refuges may be visited just as easily as a national park or national forest. 
Q: What is a national monument? 
Phillip Elden: A national monument is essentially a national park but these are designated to offer protection to a very specific feature. The Grand Canyon and Devils Tower are two examples of national monuments. 
Phillip Elden says that we also have a number of other natural, protected areas. Designated wilderness, national historic sites, national battlefield, and national recreation areas are all also found throughout the United States. States with water features may also have a wild/scenic river or national sea or lake shore.