Global change research in mountain biosphere reserves - USA: Glacier National Park, Biosphere Reserve and GLORIA Site (2003)

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The National Park Service of the United States has 388 designated protected areas and parks that include historic and cultural sites as well as 'natural resource' parks set aside for their unique and outstanding natural features. Early efforts to create parks were focused on areas of beauty or unusual features but later efforts increasingly aimed to protect biodiversity and intact ecosystems. Protected areas in the National Park Service are found in nearly all the fifty states from Florida to Alaska, with examples of preserved natural environments ranging from coral reefs to the icy summit of Mt. McKinley in Alaska, at 6,187 m. Many of the larger parks have been designated as Biosphere Reserves under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Programme. The area now managed as Glacier National Park was first set aside as a Forest Reserve in 1897 and then designated as a national park in 1910, six years before a national park service was created to oversee the growing number of parks that the US Congress was establishing. Waterton National Park was created by Canada immediately north of the US–Canada border during the same period. In 1932, a joint lobbying effort by private citizens and groups convinced both the United States and Canada to establish the world’s first trans-boundary park to explicitly underscore and symbolize the neighbourly relationship between these two countries. This became the world’s first ‘peace’ park and was named Waterton–Glacier International Peace Park. The combined park is managed collaboratively on many issues but each national park is separately funded and operates under different national statutes and laws. It was, however, jointly named a Biosphere Reserve in 1976 and a World Heritage Site in 1995. There have been recent efforts to significantly increase the size of Waterton National Park by adding publicly owned forests on the western side of the continental divide in British Columbia, Canada. For the purposes of this chapter, I will emphasize the US portion of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park and refer to it as the Glacier Mountain Biosphere Reserve (MBR).
Language: English
Imprint: Proceedings of the International Launching Workshop Entlebuch Biosphere Reserve, Switzerland 10?13 November 2003.Published 2004 UNESCO Division of Ecological Science 1, rue Miollis 75352 Paris 07 SP, France. 2003
Series: Proceedings,