A Comparative Study of Selected Public Conservation Areas In Northeastern North America
- Balinga, Victor S.
University of Maine Graduate School
An analysis was made of policies, policy evolution and a comparison of current and projected needs, the administrative systems, finance, management programs and problems of selected conservation areas. Comparable situations in Africa are discussed. Included in this study are two national parks, two national wildlife refuges, one national forest, the Maine state parks and the state game management areas. The smallest of the federal areas is Parker River National Wildlife Refuge with an area of 4,650 acres, and the largest is White Mountain National Forest with 725,792 acres. Each area was established for a specific purpose either on the initiative of an individual, group of people or a government agency, but they were all established basically to conserve wildlife and vegetation in unique locations. About 60 percent of the land area in the study places was purchased, 37 percent donated, and 3 percent acquired by public or private transfer of land, in Africa, most land for conservation areas to date has been donated. Information in the thesis was obtained by visits to the areas, discussions with staff, and from study literature. The basic policy has been and is to keep conservation areas unspoiled for both the present and future generations, but the method of application of policy has differed in parks, refuges, national forests, and game management areas. Three systems exist in the administrative organizations: by area, function, or both. In Africa, organization is mainly by area. Five methods are used to finance public Conservation areas: government appropriations, trust funds, dedicated revenue, and donations and income from the areas. Information and education, recreation, and fire protection are stressed in all areas. Some variation in programs exist from one area to another. The most significant problem in public conservation areas is their use by too many people; with these populations come many social problems.
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