Conservation: Access vs. Preservation?

first_img“Imagine only two groups allowed in the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower each day,” said one local. “Or only ten people can stand at the ocean’s edge and watch the sun set over the curve of the earth. This is the equivalent to what you are proposing.”   For now, any solution that keeps public lands from being destroyed, damaged, or sold to private interests is a win. But how will the outdoor community respond when crowds and human waste necessitate a climbing ban at a beloved crag? Or when threats to endangered wildlife require camping closures in Shenandoah or Pisgah? It may not be as simple as chaining the gates.  “There have always been stakeholders that come to conservation measures with different perspectives,” he said. For him, any voice advocating conservation is a good one. While the end result may be a debate over access and preservation (a debate he thinks is worth having), Sterling says we need to get there first.  While most large conservation and outdoor groups oppose the legislation—including the International Mountain Biking Coalition (IMBA)—it’s an obvious crack in the otherwise steadfast unity of the outdoor industry when it comes to land protection, and a clear example of preservation taking a back seat to recreational access. The Sustainable Trails Coalition, a biking organization campaigning for the legislation, has left no questions about its motive: Its members want access to wilderness, and they are willing to partner with traditionally anti-public lands Republican lawmakers to get it.  Fighting a way in The Wilderness Act—one of the most important and preservation-focused laws ever—has banned any kind of “mechanical transport” in wilderness areas. If you want to explore a designated wilderness, you can’t use a mountain bike or any other machine, limiting the potential damage and impact to the land. But two bills before Congress—H.R. 1349 and its Senate partner S. 2877—are trying to change that. The bills propose a change to the Wilderness Act allowing some forms of human-powered mechanical vehicles like strollers, wheelchairs, and bicycles.  “Frankly, I don’t care whether an individual wants to ride their mountain bike or wants to protect the species on that land,” said Sterling. For him, advocacy is advocacy and, at least at this point, most everyone is on the same team.  The two clauses of that charge—to preserve the land, as well as to allow people to enjoy it—might not have seemed at odds in a time of simpler conservation ethics, fewer tourists, and no mountain bikes, drones, or RVs. But today, there is a fierce tug of war over what exactly the purpose of land protection should be. Are we protecting our lands to preserve the scenery and wildlife in its natural form? Or do we protect it simply so that we can have beautiful mountains in which to ride singletrack and clip bolts? “The service’s purpose is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”  Responses to the proposed quotas were decidedly bent toward access. Most were opposed to quotas, permit fees, or any effort to limit their access to publicly owned lands.  The permit solution  “I think it’s inevitable that we’re going to see more access regulations as more people spend their days on public land,” he said. “The Forest Service and other agencies have a mandate to manage those lands sustainably. I don’t love that my local wilderness areas have gotten so crowded that they need to add these restrictions, but I don’t oppose it.” In the end, Forest Service officials scaled back their proposal and implemented a seasonal, limited-entry quota system at select trailheads. In their final decision, the forest supervisors wrote, “We believe the selected alternative…best meets the purpose and need to manage visitor use to reduce recreation-related impacts and to protect and enhance wilderness character.” As more people venture outdoors, impacts from increased use have become an urgent issue.  The tug-of-war over public lands   Even climber-advocacy groups like The Access Fund took a pro-access stance: “We support proposed changes for overnight-use permits under Alternative 4, however we oppose the implementation of any online system to administer limited entry day-use permits which would limit climbers’ ability to access the Wilderness areas.” Excess human and dog waste, illegal trails, damage to rare and endangered species, trash at trailheads and campsites, and crowded summits have prompted the U.S. Forest Service Officials in Oregon to propose a quota system for portions of the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests. By limiting the number of people who can enter certain areas at certain times of the year, the Forest Service aimed to explicitly limit access in favor of preserving the land.  Does it matter? Do our motivations really matter as long as land is being protected? Not to John Sterling, Executive Director of the Conservation Alliance.  The National Park Service was created rather quietly in 1916 by a relatively unknown piece of legislation called the Organic Act. Taking up just over a page in the Federal Register, it was a benign administrative reorganization that called for a small subsection of the Department of the Interior to be known as the National Park Service, charging it with, as it would turn out, a somewhat paradoxical task: Especially today, as the battle for national monuments intensifies and activists clash, an unspoken question lingers: why exactly are we protecting public lands? Is conservation more shallow than we think?  Maybe that tug-of-war between keeping our public lands accessible while ensuring their beauty and wildlife stick around for generations to come was what the architects of the Organic Act had in mind all along.last_img read more

PSG Unveils Mbappe, Says Nothing to Hide in its Transfer Deals

first_imgAnd he said the lure of returning to the city where he grew up – rather than the riches of the club’s Qatari owners – was the key.Mbappe, who will wear the No29 shirt, said: “Whether it is one euro or 180million euros it doesn’t matter to me.“I didn’t pay it and I don’t pocket it.“It’s a great pleasure to join one of the biggest clubs in the world.“Back in May, I was in the frame of mind that I would stay with Monaco. Certain events changed my mind.“It was important not to leave France. It was important to return to the city where I grew up.”Having burst onto the scene last season with 26 goals in all competitions for Leonardo Jardim’s side, Mbappe wants to go on to bigger and better things in the French capital.“I want to do even better than last season,” he said as he was presented to the media on Wednesday.“I am driven by the desire to win everything.”Fans in the street outside lit flares to welcome their new signing, who follows the £198m capture of Brazilian superstar Neymar.PSG Qatari President Nasser Al-Khelaifi told reporters that Mbappe’s move has nothing to do with money.He said: “We met with Mbappe’s family three times and not once did we talk about money.“He’s not interested in money.”Mbappe admitted he cannot wait to team up with Neymar in the French side’s new forward line but said it was only one of the appeals.“He is an additional advantage,” Mbappe said.“It is extraordinary to play with him. However I came for the project.”Paris St Germain insists the club has carried out its record summer transfers in complete transparency and “has nothing to hide”, the French club’s president said yesterday.Europe’s governing soccer body UEFA has placed PSG under investigation to see if their spending spree had broken financial fair-play rules.“We’re very confident in our position, in our recruitment,” club Al-Khelaifi told reporters yesterday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram French wonderkid Kylian Mbappe has admitted that he snubbed Real Madrid because he wanted to return to his home city Paris.The striker was unveiled yesterday by Paris Saint-Germain after his loan move from Monaco ahead of an amazing £166m move next summer.The 18-year-old’s wages are set to jump from £15,750 a week to a staggering £140,000.last_img read more

EURO 2020 draw: Germany, France, Portugal in group of death, England gets Croatia, Spain pairs Poland

first_img Source: ESPN European champions Portugal have been drawn in the same group as the last two World Cup winners, Germany and France.Germany will meet France in their opening fixture in Group FEngland will kick off their campaign against Croatia at Wembley Stadium, and they have also been paired with the Czech Republic.Gareth Southgate’s side was knocked out by Croatia at last year’s World Cup semifinals.Euro 2016 semifinalists Wales will face Italy, Switzerland, and Turkey in Group A.The tournament will be played in 12 different European countries in a one-off format to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the European Championship.Under the complex rules, all host nations will play their three group games at home until there are two hosts in the same group, in which case a draw decides where they meet.Group A: Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, WalesGroup B: Belgium, Russia, Denmark, FinlandGroup C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, Play-off Winner D (Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia or Kosovo)Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Play-off Winner C (Norway, Serbia, Scotland or Israel)Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden, Play-off Winner B (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Slovakia or Republic of Ireland)Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, Play-off Winner A (Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland or Romania)Play-off Winner A is allocated to Group F and Play-off Winner D to Group C. If Romania qualifies as the winner of Path A, Romania will play in Group C and Play-off Winner D is switched to Group F. The play-off winners will be known in March 2020.Italy, who won all 10 qualifying games as they bounced back from failing to make the last World Cup, will face Turkey, Wales and Switzerland in Group A, in Rome and Baku.last_img read more

Copenhagen bags second position on Global Destination Sustainability Index

first_imgThe Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index aims to promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations, highlighting best practices and responsible business tourism. In a world increasingly focused on responsible business and environmental impact, the GDS-Index helps destinations to engage clients with sustainability align with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and drive the adoption, promotion and recognition of sustainable practices in their city.Cities are measured on their environmental, social, supplier and Convention Bureau performance. Copenhagen was given a total GDS-index of 79% just four percent after 1st ranked Gothenburg but well above the GDS-index average of 55%. Copenhagen scored a perfect 100% in social performance. Compared to the index average of 39% on the Convention Bureau performance, Copenhagen CVB scored a satisfying 75% but with room for improvements.last_img read more