Human ecology problems in North America

Do you need to save the national parks of Europe and the United States?

Each country has special protected areas - natural national parks. The definition of this place is of particular importance, since important natural, cultural or ecological objects are located on their territory, which are under the protection of the state. The parks have different purposes, but they all have common features - these places are interesting for tourists to visit, it is pleasant to contemplate beautiful landscapes along their paths, and the unique nature delights in its uniqueness. Let's figure out what national parks are. We will consider the definition further.

What is this?

General interpretation of the concept adopted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It defines what a national park is - it is a part of land or a body of water that contains natural unique objects of ecological, historical and aesthetic value. Their purpose is to perform one of the functions: environmental, recreational, educational or cultural.

There are three ramifications, in connection with which states have a need to create national parks. The definition (what it is) each country chose based on the goals of creation. So, these goals were:

1. The creation of a park exclusively for tourism and recreation. For example, Yellowstone Park (USA), Banff (Canada). What these national parks are is determined by their purpose, which is to entertain people. Today, Yellowstone Park is visited by several thousand tourists a day. This is a huge territory with geysers, volcanoes, canyons, waterfalls, forests with wild animals and much more. Visiting this place is a real adventure.

2. The designation of a certain territory, which was already a place of tourist pilgrimage, and in the future will be a national park. This transition is associated with the presence of natural objects that need to be additionally protected by the state. For example, the Bavarian forest on the border between Germany and the Czech Republic, or Belovezhskaya Pushcha in Belarus. The latter was created to protect the unique European forest, the history of which dates back to ancient times.

3. Organization of the territory under the ban on the use of its wealth. Consider from this point of view what a national park is. The definition of a protected area is associated with the presence of important plants, animals, or historical sites in which there is a scientific interest. The park is created solely for the purpose of studying such objects.


What is a national park (definition from the point of view of ecological importance) is a purposeful fencing of a territory, limiting its visit by people to preserve a unique ecosystem, a halo of habitat of rare animals or plants.

Ecotourism is gaining popularity lately. This is a trip to natural areas in order to explore and better understand the world that surrounds us. Life in cities traps people in stone walls, and they are getting further and further from nature. Ecotourism aims to connect people, flora and fauna. Traveling for this purpose, tourists turn off their gadgets, leave computers and work, and retire with Mother Earth.

Types of Eco Tours

Depending on the object of visit, ecotours are divided into the following types:

  • Studying only plants.
  • For the purpose of observing animals.
  • Separately, there are eco-tours for watching wild birds (very popular in Europe).
  • Geological - the study of the earth's interior, stones, soil.
  • Ethnographic - visiting original settlements that have preserved the ancient structure. In Russia, such parks have survived on the territory of the Chuvash Republic, the Republic of Mari El.
  • Archaeological. For example, the Samarskaya Luka National Park keeps the remains of the largest settlements of the Volga Bulgaria of the 9th-12th centuries.
  • Tours to visit historical sites. Interesting objects in such structures are architectural structures, architectural monuments, museums.

    General situation

    Under the influence of man, the nature of North America has changed significantly. Economic activity has affected all components of the geographic envelope - the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere. However, in contrast to Africa and South America, the issue of nature protection in North America, especially in recent decades, has received a lot of attention. The ideas about the unique riches of the lands of North America, formed during the period of the development of the mainland, became the reason for the careless attitude towards them. This led to the depletion of arable land, pollution of water bodies, the extinction of unique animal species, and a reduction in areas under natural vegetation. The replacement of natural complexes with agricultural and urban ones worsened the state of the atmosphere. In cities where there are many cars and industrial enterprises, fog, saturated with poisonous steam, is formed - smog, which adversely affects the flora and fauna of the mainland and worsens the health of people. The plowing of land has actually led to the destruction of natural complexes of the prairies, a reduction in the area of ​​forests. So, only 4% of the area of ​​tall grass prairies remained untouched, relict sequoia forests were practically destroyed, the territories occupied by mixed and deciduous forests decreased by 1/3. In areas of intensive farming, runoff from fields containing chemicals has caused pollution of water bodies and groundwater. Especially great harm to natural complexes is caused by the extraction of minerals, large deposits of which are concentrated in the north of the mainland - in the tundra and forest-tundra, taiga. Short cold summers and long frosty winters slow down the development of vegetation and soil cover, therefore, it takes much longer to restore natural complexes than in other areas.

    Nature Conservation

    The aggravation of environmental problems on the mainland has pushed the countries of North America to active environmental protection measures. Laws on the protection and restoration of nature were adopted, state programs for the restoration of natural complexes have been created and are in effect, and a strict record of the state of individual components of nature is being kept. It was in North America, in the United States, that the world's first national park, Yellowstone, was created in 1872, located in the eastern part of the Cordillera, in the Rocky Mountains. The park got its name from the large Yellowstone Lake in the center of the park, along the banks of which hot springs beat. On the territory of the park, there are traces of active volcanic activity, many geysers. There are pristine pine forests under protection, where bears, deer, fallow deer, antelopes, bison, coyotes and other forest animals live. Canada's Wood Buffalo National Park is the largest on the continent. It covers an area of ​​forests, lakes and swamps with an area of ​​almost 18 thousand km2. On the vast floodplains of rivers covered with meadows, herds of bison roam, and many waterfowl nest on the reservoirs. The unique inhabitants of Wood Buffalo include the white American cranes, of which there are only about four hundred left in their natural environment. North America ranks first in the world in the area of ​​reserves and national parks. The most famous protected areas also include Yosemite National Park, Grand Canyon, Mammoth Cave, Death Valley, Katmai, El Viskaino, Sequoia.


    • Economic activities in North America have significantly changed natural systems. • To preserve nature on the mainland, national parks and reserves have been created, laws on nature conservation have been adopted.

    Legal regulation of environmental protection

    Note 1 The most populated and most industrial areas of the US in the $ 60- $ 70 years were on the brink of an environmental crisis. The open method of mining a number of minerals led to an increase in the area of ​​"badlands", the motorization of the country turned entire cities into "smogopolis", the organic life of the Great American Lakes was gradually fading away. These catastrophic conditions forced the country to pass a federal law on national environmental policy. Environmental expenditures have been increased.

    “Badland” is translated as “bad land”. It is hilly and ridged, unsuitable for development, rugged terrain.

    A complex branch of environmental law was formed in the country, which was aimed at implementing a model of environmentally sound development. The basis of environmental law is formed by the norms of common law, but legislation is still in force, which is aimed at regulating relations of special environmental law. In addition to federal legislation, there are also laws of individual states.

    OSCE expert Stefan Michel tells about the differences in understanding of "untouched nature" in developed countries at different periods of time. A short story about how the attitude of the inhabitants of Europe and the United States to nature has changed over the past 200 years, in our today's publication.

    Introduction to history

    The first national park in the United States - Yellowstone National Park - appeared in 1872. And the very first leaders of the park decided to correct the number of wolves, thus increasing the number of artiodactyls. Then people believed that they can and should interfere with natural processes. Since people did not yet know examples of the harmful influence on nature in the 19th century.

    After almost 100 years, the leadership of the national park carried out the reintroduction (restoration - approx. "L.") of the wolf population. And only after a long time, people realized that it is impossible to feed wild animals on the territory of reserves and parks, change the landscape to attract more visitors and much more under no circumstances.

    Yellowstone National Park

    Approaches to the development of national parks today

    They can be summarized in three sentences:

    • Conserve nature in the ecosystem without direct human impact;
    • Leave these areas accessible to visit;
    • Implement a limited amount of infrastructure for vacationers: minimum of roads, paths, communications, etc.

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), an international non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the planet's biodiversity, claims that national parks: <

    • belong to Category II classification of protected areas;
    • these are specially protected areas (PAs) with the possibility of developing ecotourism;
    • large areas, protected by the state, with an established ban on the seizure of natural objects;
    • landscapes where limited nature management and special measures to restore ecosystems are possible in places.

    However, at least 75% of the territory of the national park should be preserved in its original form, where outside interference is not allowed!

    The beauty of nature in the United States is in no way inferior to the beauty of Canada or Russia. There are mixed forests and huge canyons, as well as rivers and lakes with noisy waterfalls. The immense nature reserves and parks of the United States annually attract hundreds of thousands of tourists to their lands. There are so many protected places in the States that it is difficult to immediately decide where to spend your vacation or weekend. Consider the most famous and popular national parks in America.

    Where are the major reserves in the United States?

    Notable Conservation Areas in America are located in the following locations:

    • Bryce Canyon. Utah;
    • Monument Valley. Between Utah and Arizona;
    • Death Valley. Between California and Nevada;
    • Yellowstone. Wyoming, Montana, Idaho;
    • Yosemite. California;
    • Grand Canyon. Arizona;
    • Glacier. Montana;
    • Great Smoky Mountains. North Carolina;
    • Hawaiian volcanoes. Hawaii;
    • Torrey Pines. California;
    • Everglades. Florida.

    North America is a continent with rich nature and colossal territories. In every state of the United States, it is possible to find, if not the greatest reserve, then a small natural park for sure.

    Bryce Canyon Utah

    The canyon in Utah is less famous than its neighbors, the Grand Canyon and Zion. The reasons for its lesser popularity lie in the remoteness of the area, but its beauty is as majestic as in the neighboring national parks.

    Bryce's height reaches 2,700 meters. Its ocher and yellow rocks are shaped like a Roman amphitheater. Tourists love to meet sunrises on this canyon, and those who have the patience to wait for the sunset are also rewarded in full with amazing views and play of light.

    Monument Valley Between Utah and Arizona

    The Navajo Park is famous for its own Monument Valley. A wonderful place was created by nature, but because of the bizarre rocks and hills it seems like a man-made creation.

    A road from Flagstaff leads to the Monuments. The tourist center in the Valley is located at the entrance. It starts working at 6 am, during the warmer months the center is open until 8 am. There it is possible to purchase a map of the Valley, select and register a route, buy various little things.

    The entrance to the national park is paid. An adult ticket costs about $ 20.

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