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Branch of Aquatic and Wildlife Management
SEKI 22568  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Records generated within the organizational divisions of Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park concerning the branch of Aquatic and Wildlife Management.
Background
Established in 1890, Sequoia National Park is America's second oldest national park. While early park managers were concerned with providing access to the public and promoting visitation, by the 1930’s, the park became one of the first to address the cumulative effect of visitation and development on the ecosystems the parks were established to protect. Under the leadership of George Wright, the first chief of the wildlife for the National Park Service, and the pioneering work of biologists like Lowell Sumner and Joseph Dixon, Sequoia would provide important data for baseline populations and contribute to the emergence of modern natural resources management. With the creation of Kings Canyon as the nation's first wilderness park, park management was confronted with the need to understand the nature and scale of human impacts to park areas. While undeveloped, the area had been used extensively by visitors for decades; its meadows had been grazed, both by cattle and by pack animals, its mountain lakes stocked with non-native fish species, and the behavior of key species modified by human influence. The process of understanding these impacts was accelerated by the release of the Leopold Report. Published in 1963, the report prompted National Parks to expand resource management programs. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park developed the wildlife management program, funding more wildlife biologist positions and filling them with qualified scientists. In 1976, the Division of Natural Resources Management in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park was established out of the consolidation of work functions drawn from throughout the parks’ administration. The principle challenges of the era were an increasingly problematic relationship between visitors and bears habituated to human foods, population shifts through the loss of predator species, and the impact of introduced fish species on aquatic ecosystems. Through the 1980s and 1990s, with Harold Werner as Aquatic and Wildlife Management ecologist, the branch continued to engage these challenges. In 2005, with the recognition of the threat posed by non-native fish populations to local amphibians, the branch of Aquatic and Wildlife Management added an aquatic biologist and for the first time in its history it had separate specialists for the parks' two major ecosystems: aquatic and terrestrial. Reorganization has continued, and today the branch focuses on studying and protecting the natural ecosystems of the parks. Projects include the continuous removal of invasive species - especially fish and plants from certain ecosystems, bear management, and the protection of threatened and endangered species. The Branch of Aquatic and Wildlife Management had become the branch of Biodiversity and Ecological Resilience in 2011.
Extent
33.25 linear feet
Restrictions
Many collections are former federal government records and are in the public domain. Other collections are from private sources; copyright has been transferred to the NPS on most. Some collections have publication restrictions. Researchers are required to properly credit all materials used. The researcher assumes responsibility for acquiring copyright permissions when needed.
Availability
Collection is open for research by appointment.