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Tourism2 - Tourism The Double-Edged Sword By Jonathan Gold...

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Tourism: The Double-Edged Sword By Jonathan Gold Professor Gmelch Due: 11/14/06
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Jonathan Gold Due: 11/14/06 Professor S. Gmelch Final Project Tourism: The Double-Edged Sword In this country and around the world, photography has played an important part in preserving natural areas ranging from small city parks to our grandest national parks. This photo- essay provides a photographic account of the National Park and Forest services’ attempt to balance tourism with protection of wilderness areas. This is, however, another sharp edge on this sword of tourism. In truth, the attributes of tourism have changed rapidly during the twentieth century. Today, it is virtually impossible even to avoid the effect that the tourism industry has on the world. Unlike a national anthem or a national flag, a national park exists in the concrete dimensions of geography, biology, and economics, as well as a dimension of symbolism. It has living denizens and physical boundaries. It has benefits and costs. It has friends, and sometimes enemies. It has an aura of sacred permanence as a place that society has chosen to set aside and protect forevermore. My purpose for this final project is to build upon research regarding the United States’ national park and forest services, to help future generations make to right choices about our worlds protected areas. At the turn of the twentieth century, economic interests—such as railroad companies—paved the way for national tourism with parks and wilderness areas as primary destinations. To help support tourism, new photographic images of the wilderness were produced to promote the idea of a prestige wilderness, that visitors could both visit and take national pride in. In addition, policies were implemented to uphold the emerging ideologies at the turn of the twentieth century. Therefore, more attention was given to the political and economic interests of the country than to the conservationism of our parks. As a consequence, the National Park
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Service must currently balance its commitments to tourism with wilderness protection and conservation. The continental United States is embraced by two great oceans, and is extraordinarily varied. High mountain ranges such as the Rockies and the Appalachians, deep valleys, rolling hills, spacious plains, many lakes, streams and wetlands, mighty rivers such as the Mississippi and Colorado, volcanic oceanic islands and a saltwater coastline some 96,000 miles long. Its many different climates and soils support a rich and very diverse wildlife. In recent geographic times, ice sheets have advanced and retreated over this vast area, and land bridges to Europe and Asia have formed and been submerged again, allowing frequent migration and the mingling of species of many different origins. The United States contains some of the world’s largest pristine wilderness areas, and some of the most dramatic scenery in the world.
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