Natural Resources and Energy Paper
The first national park in the United States was the Yellowstone National Park, which was created in 1872. At this time, the concept of a national park was new for people. However, it was a great concept because it allowed people the ability to preserve and protect the best of what they had for the benefit and enjoyment of all future generations. Yellowstone National Park is located in a rugged region where the states of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana come together. This rugged region is made up of alpine and sub-alpine forests, as well as, mountains of high elevation. Recognized for its ecological value, Yellowstone National Park was designated as a Biosphere Reserve in 1976; a biosphere reserve is an environmental area which is highly sensitive and has protected status, which is managed primarily to preserve natural ecological conditions. This paper on Yellowstone National Park will be discussing the impacts associated with agriculture, the effects that a growing human population can have on the resources of an ecosystem, a management practice to help with sustainability, the risks and benefits for extracting renewable and nonrenewable energy resource for the ecosystem, and management practices for sustainability and conservation of natural resources and energy. Impacts Associated with Agriculture
The Yellowstone National Park is home to many large animals such as the bison, elk, grizzly bear, and wolf. The enactment of legislation designed to protect game resources called upon Yellowstone National Park to supply elks to other ranges that were not suitable for agriculture. Yellowstone National Park is a prime location to use for trapping and restocking purposes because elks are not like cattle and cannot be herded for capture (United States Department of the Interior, 2004). Because the winter snow drives the elk to lower elevations with limited forage, the winter months are the only time elks can be captured (United States Department of the Interior, 2004). Effects of a Growing Human Population
When the human population grows, it affects the ecosystem’s resources. Science has proven that the human population growth has been a part of global warming. At Yellowstone National Park, the population of Blotched Tiger Salamanders (Ambystoma tigrinum melanostictum) has suffered from the effects of global warming (McMenamin & Hadly, 2012). McMenamin and Hadly’s study used “ancient and modern mitochondrial haplotype diversity to model the effective size of this amphibian population through recent geological time and to assess past responses to climatic changes in the region.” (McMenamin & Hadly, 2012, para. ). They used subfossils in northern Yellowstone National Park collected from Cave Lamar to analyze almost 700 “base pairs of mitochondrial sequence” (McMenamin & Hadly, 2012, para. ). Through their simulations they found that” regional mitochondrial diversity has remained relatively constant even through climatic fluctuations of recent millennia”. According to McMenamin, Hadly, and Wright (2008), climate warming causes decrease in effective moisture which in turn causes changes in development and phenology, loss of pond habitat and increased risk of disease which ultimately causes the loss of amphibian populations. In addition, impacts on the environment which include habitat degradation are continuing to be affected by global warming (McMenamin, Hadly, & Wright, 2008). Since the early 1990’s “the number of salamander populations has fallen by nearly half”, “thus, it is crucial that we elucidate the ways in which climatic change and ensuing habitat change already have impacted amphibian species” (McMenamin, Hadly, & Wright, 2008, para. ). If we do nothing to save the habitat of the Blotched Tiger Salamanders we will eventually cause them to die out at Yellowstone National Park because of the pollution we did to cause global warming. Management Practice for Sustainability and...
References: McMenamin, S. K., & Hadly, E. A. (2012). Ancient DNA Assessment of Tiger Salamander Population in Yellowstone National Park. Plos ONE, 7(3), 1-6. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0032763
McMenamin, S.K., Hadly, E.A., & Wright, C.K
National Park Service. (2012). Purpose of the strategic plan. Retrieved from http://www.nps.gov/yell/parkmgmt/sustainability-purpose.htm
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