'We were created to serve all'

  • Scot McElveen

 

Note: This article is a sidebar to this issue's feature story.

Scot McElveen is the chief ranger at Death Valley National Park:

"It's somewhat unrealistic to say we're going to move land from more human-oriented uses to (management emphasizing) a stricter group of laws, but we're not going to give you any staff to make sure that happens. Do we lower the standards of how much monitoring we do, or focus on the core land and let the new lands languish? We've decided to get folks out into the new lands - meaning that the core lands receive less protection.

"I think it's also important to say in as nice a way as we possibly can that the term national park indicates that this is a national resource owned equally by all citizens. We shouldn't be doing things for local populations that hurt the park or other visitors' ability to enjoy the park. We were created to serve all."