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America’s Preservation System: A Wilderness Bill Of Rights By William O. Douglas

2094 words - 9 pages

North America has one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. There are deserts, wetlands, rolling hills, plains, and mountain ranges in the United States alone. But what has been done to preserve America’s incredible biodiversity? There have been many attempts in the past, as well as in recent years. Many people want to preserve the American wilderness, as Ann Malaspina discovered. “In fact, taxpayers, like those in Florida who support the wild lands corridor, are increasingly willing to pay the price to preserve open space” (Malaspina 70). The National Wildlife Refuge system was started to keep the wilderness preserved. Even though in the past great efforts have been made, the ...view middle of the document...

Unlike national forests, they were originally weak and lacked the independence necessary to gain the public’s interest. They did include some recreation, however. They contained campsites, where families could spend a weekend away from the concrete jungle of the cities and have fun in the great outdoors. They also provided hunting and fishing opportunities for the extreme outdoorsman. Recreational motor vehicle usage was allowed in most as well, so families, or the ones who enjoy spending time alone in the gorgeous American forests, could take a scenic tour and see the incredible biodiversity of North America. Even though the state forests lacked the public interest, they played a great role in the preservation of the wilderness.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service was established by President Theodore Roosevelt. Since their first day, March 14, 1903, they have done their best to preserve the American wilderness. The service has lasted one hundred and twelve years protecting wildlife throughout the United States. They have established many national wildlife refuges, like the National Elk Refuge, which was created in 1912. Here, rocky mountain elk were being poached for their teeth, which were being sold for 1,500 dollars a set (“History of the U.S. Fish”… 3). This service has also made a number of acts to preserve the wilderness. The Duck Stamp Act requires waterfowl hunters to purchase a duck stamp for their federal hunting license. The stamp changes every year, along with the license. The money used to purchase the stamp produces a source of revenue for the acquisition of more federally protected migratory bird habitat. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has done so much already for America and their lands, and they continue to do more every year. Less and less wildlife is disappearing each year, and this service has played a major role in this.
State parks also play a major role in preservation. However, they do not preserve as much as state forests. They occupy a more recreational role. Some play other roles, as well as just preserving. Some are major historical sites such as Valley Forge State Park. Some, like Maryland’s Dierson Refuge is heavily used by wildlife, specifically migratory waterfowl. It is said that a silver dollar could be tossed across it. However, it is abundant with wildlife, and sometimes, there is an overflow of birds. Maine’s Baxter State Park shows the desire of the people for preservation. The park was donated by a former governor of Maine and is still heavily used and extremely loved today. In New York, there are forest preserves that are state parks. The Adirondack and Catskill mountains are state parks that preserve an abundant ecosystem that is cherished by many. The varieties in all of these state parks show the various ways that wildlife can be preserved. Some parks have a more recreational twist to them, while others just preserve the wild with very little of the recreational outlook.

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