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Managing Conflict in Wilderness Areas.

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Generalisation 3: Managing Conflict in Wilderness Areas There are many pressures to keep the pristine environments of wilderness areas. But when opposing groups have different ideas about the way to use these areas, much conflict is caused. There are consequently more pressures to then manage these areas to keep them in a pristine condition and keep as many people happy as possible. There are a number of different strategies used to protect wilderness areas, and the types of method often depend on the size and accessibility of the area. However, with so many opposing ideas for use of wilderness areas, managing can inevitably cause conflict. For example, land zoning may protect certain areas, but environmentalists may argue that the areas that are used for recreation will eventually become exhausted from the original natural beauty. Equally, conserving land with valuable resources such as oil and minerals will create conflict with economists keen to boost local economy, especially in Less Economically Developed Countries. Management can also depend on the level of protection of the area and who protects it. If land is government owned then they will often have the last say but usually an area will be managed based on the interests of the masses, considering both the long-term and short-term effects. If successfully managed then the effects can be overwhelming. The wilderness area will stay in pristine condition, and possibly having to compromise, as many groups will be as happy as they can be. One of the largest reasons for conflict to exist in these wilderness areas is down to economic development. A prime example would be the Brazilian Government in conjunction with the Amazonian Rainforest. The Government proposed the construction of a dam in the Amazon basin's Xingu River. The proposed nine hydroelectric plants threatened the entire way of life to the Brazilian Indian Tribe, the Caiapos. The dam would mean that part of the Caiapo reserve would be flooded, destroying their entire traditional way of life. ...read more.


However, The Lac T�l� and the Nouabal�-Ndoki reserves are very newly created and the Conkouati-Douli National Park has only been controlled by the WCS for 5 years. They are still finding ways of measuring and reducing impacts so the success of the project is soon to be revealed. Although National Parks and Treaties have proved successful in Utah, USA they have adopted a different approach. After Congress passed the Wilderness Act the citizens of Southern Utah grouped together with the intention of preserving America's Red Rock, and formed the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance. They focus their attention on grassroots activists and public outreach campaigns. The mission of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) is the preservation of the outstanding wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau, and the management of these lands in their natural state for the benefit of all Americans. SUWA promotes local and national recognition of the region's unique character through research and public education; supports both administrative and legislative initiatives to permanently protect the Colorado Plateau wild places within the National Park and National Wilderness Preservation System or by other protective designations where appropriate; builds national support for such initiatives on both the local and national level; and provides leadership within the conservation movement through uncompromising advocacy for wilderness preservation. The allegiance of fiercely loyal defenders of Utah wilderness is reflected in their continued success: the annual increase of activists, the number of anti-wilderness proposals defeated, and the record support obtained for America's Redrock Wilderness Act. The SUWA has successfully fought off any opposition for conflicting land use. Despite being supported by congress in the first place, once the Republicans took over the House of Representatives in 1994, it opened a window of opportunity for wilderness opponents. Under the Bureau of Land Management the Republicans tried to require back land for industrial use. They claimed they needed to bring keep local employment high. ...read more.


Banff, along with Jasper National Park to the north, will continue to provide most of the large wilderness areas in the Four Mountain Parks. These are extensive areas that represent the natural history themes of the park; much of this land consists of steep mountain slopes, glaciers and lakes. Zone II areas cannot support high levels of visitor use and facility development, so limits may be placed on the number of users. No motorised access is permitted, and man-made development is restricted to trails, backcountry campgrounds and primitive shelters. Zone III - Natural Environment About one per cent of the park falls into this transition between Zone II - Wilderness and Zone IV - Outdoor Recreation. Low density outdoor recreational activities and modest visitor facilities, such as backcountry lodges, are allowed in this zone. Non-motorised access is preferred, although public transit is permitted. Zone IV - Outdoor Recreation Outdoor recreation zones accommodate a broad range of recreational opportunities and facilities that are compatible with the natural landscape. About one per cent of the park is Zone IV - Recreation. It includes ski areas, road right-of-ways, picnic areas and other similar developments Zone V - Park Services The town of Banff and the hamlet of Lake Louise are the Zone V areas, covering less than one per cent of the park. Land use within the town of Banff is governed by the municipality (Town of Banff), while Lake Louise is still under the control of Parks Canada as of March 15th, 1995. Environmentally Sensitive Sites The Environmentally Sensitive Sites (ESS) designation is applied to areas containing significant and sensitive heritage resource features that require special protection. Unlike Zone I areas, an ESS can accommodate relatively high levels of controlled visitor activity without jeopardising its resource values. The Vermilion Lakes wetlands and the Middle Springs on Suphur Mountain are the two ESSs in the park. This land-use zoning project has insured that people can enjoy the wilderness area but the environmental impacts are minimised. Conflicts have been reduced and the project has continued for a number or of years unhindered. Rhiannon Bryant ...read more.

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