Leopold report, after co-chairs Durward Allen and Starker Leopold, it clearly called for the NPS to give science and research much greater responsibility in policy making, planning, and operations. It found no fault with the general direction of the science program, only with its lack of funding, staffing, and influence.

Again, however, little action to implement the report's recommendations ensued. Private groups such as the National Parks and Conservation Association and The Conservation Foundation published other reports critical of the Park Service, focusing wide public attention on the threats to the national park system. Under congressional pressure, the NPS conducted a comprehensive assessment of park threats in 1980. That report documented widespread and serious problems in the parks and recommended four actions to better protect park resources: conduct a comprehensive inventory of park resources; establish accurate baseline data and conduct monitoring to detect changes in resources and ecosystems; focus

As critics of the National Park Service science program have noted, property as valuable and unique as the national parks should not go without adequate research staff as elementary insurance to preserve the parks. Long-term environmental monitoring is especially needed. CREDIT: NPS photo by Robert J. Krumenaker.



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