The Fate Of Our National Parks Article can be accessed at: http://www.smh.com.au/news/0111/29/text/opinion4.html This is an interesting article as it outlines what could happen to National Parks around Australia and even around the world. The Park used as an example in this article is the Myall Lakes National Park, which is 50k north of Newcastle, Australia.
The main point the article is trying to get across to us, is that not only are too many people being allowed into the Parks, but that Park Management is looking at new ways to increase the popularity of these parks, through methods which will slowly destroy these natural surroundings.
Visitor satisfaction is important, but does visitor satisfaction come before protecting the natural environment? We can take a quote from the article: "The internationally agreed concept of a national park is a large area in which nature and scenery protection comes first. Human recreation is restricted to types which have a low impact on the natural environment and the enjoyment of other people - such as walking, surfing and swimming, nature appreciation and photography" In the example used in the article, visitors to Myall Lakes National Park will soon be able to have longer four-wheel drive paths into the Park.
This evidently means that road paths will need to be constructed resulting in damage to the natural environment to both fauna and flora, as well as an increase in the trampling effect.
The park is also looking at allowing personal boats onto the waterway system. This will also bring great damage to the gentle eco system found on the waterways such as the fish and birds.
Swimming and paddling, which would not be so harmful to the environment, has not been given an increase in area. The main reason for this would probably be to make more room for the boats.
An issue, which the Park Management has not yet undertaken, is the nose levels in the park, made from the campers. With no Park Rangers on patrol, these loud noises will eventually drive of all species of animals away from these areas.
So we can ask ourselves why is the Park Management doing this? Basically, the main reasons are: ÃÂ· To increase number of visitors to the Park ÃÂ· Increase Revenue to the Park ÃÂ· Increase number of activities available in the Park ÃÂ· To develop visitor satisfaction But at what cost? If the Park Management looks at fully satisfying the visitors to the Park 100%, then the Park will be destroyed eventually. The Park Management need to find where to draw the line so as to help maintain the natural environment of the Park so that people not only of this generation but the next and so on, can continue to enjoy these few remaining wonders of the Earth.