wolf population helped lay the groundwork for delineation of new park boundaries.
Research on natural processes also has been important in fire management. Beginning with the pioneering use of fire in the management of Everglades National Park in the 1950s, research in the national parks, some funded by the NPS, has had a major influence on the acceptance of fire as a natural process in wilderness landscapes. Studies of natural fires, the effects of fire suppression, and the use of planned fires have produced a large body of literature. Fire is now a universally accepted management tool in conservation biology, and the NPS has been a major force in this change in thinking.
In Sequoia-Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks in California, fire suppression was once believed essential to protect park resources. However, after decades of fire control, fire-intolerant species of pine and fir spread into the meadows and giant sequoia groves, respectively. Research that began in the 1960s provided a better understanding of the significant role of fire in maintaining the distinctive character of Sierra Nevada forests, and prescribed burning began in the 1970s. Recent public challenges to this practice have led to outside review of the fire management and research program. The reviewers endorsed the fundamental concept of vegetation management through burning and recommended additional research to provide a better basis for planning