Land and water use and abuse

Public and Federal Lands

History and Park Origins

  • Early parks were for religious purposes and elite ________ and pleasure grounds.
  • Frederick Law Olmstead is the father of __________ design- designed Central Park in NYC.
  • First and second national parks were Yellowstone and Yosemite.

Wilderness Areas

A large area of undeveloped, unspoiled land where _________, not man rules.

The Wilderness Act of 1964 created the National Wilderness Preservation System

Benefits for its protection include:

  • refuge for __________ wildlife
  • an opportunity for ________
  • _________ research
  • air, water and soil purification

Argument against preserving wilderness

  • more _______
  • more energy sources
  • more __________
  • more land for shopping malls and roadways!


  • Parks are being clear-cut right up to their ______________.
  • Excessive tourism is trampling plants, snowmobiles _________ wildlife.
  • Park visitors increase by 1/3 in the last decade while funding went _______ 1/4.  Little money to protect park from overuse.
  • Invasive species impact _____________
  • Mining and oil companies ______ in some of the national monuments
  • Most parks are divided based on ___________, not ecological considerations.
  • Parks need more than just a large boundary to protect an ecosystem. It needs to protect watershed, airshed and the full scope of where the wildlife will _________- the natural ________________ area


  • Public education programs
  • Charging a _______ that covers management costs
  • Banning autos and providing public _______________
  • Conducting plant and animal inventories
  • Setting ___________ on attendance


Management of public and federal land

Much of the public land in the US is run by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and is managed in a compromise between protection and use

Levels of ecological protection and restriction of human activities

    1. National parks, ecological reserves, wilderness preserves: highly __________
    2. National wildlife refuges: limited hunting and ___________ are allowed but early refuges were created to protect wildlife. (Lately _______ drilling, grazing logging, off-road vehicles and ___________ have also been permitted!!!)
    3. National forests, national resource lands, recreation areas: any ___________ is permitted (short of building your own house on the land) . Heavily logged and mined.


World parks and preserves   

  • Covers nearly ______% of earth's surface. 
  • Most protected biomes: tropical dry forests, savannahs, and temperate ___________ forests.
  • Least protected: __________, aquatic ecosystems and ___________.
  • Best countries for preserves: Costa Rica, Tanzania, Butan and Switzerland. 
  • Tropical countries are beginning to find that over long term their land is worth more as a _____________ attraction than logged. Yeah!
  • ____________ are the worst problem on African wildlife preserves. Boo!

World conservation strategy

  1. Maintain earth so humans can survive (good idea, huh?)
  2. Preserve _________ biodiversity (hot spot preserves first!)
  3. Ensure that any utilization of species and ecosystems is ___________.


Optimum size and shape for a preserve is as _______ and _________ as possible. It is impossible to isolate critical core areas from human disturbance if the park is small, skinny and broken up.

____________ of natural habitat allow movement of species from one area to another to help maintain ___________ exchange and prevent extinctions by providing an escape route in times of trouble.


Land conservation options

Preservation- protect the area from all but _________ ex. Mohonk/Minnewaska

Restoration Ecology: to repair or reconstruct damaged ecosystems by active human intervention in a short period of time. Activites include: reforestation, erosion control, invasive species removal, and reintroduction of native species.

Restoration- bring something back to its _________ condition ex. using native plants to restore a woodlands so it looks natural

Remediation- cleaning chemical contaminant from a polluted area by __________ or __________ means ex. Phytoremediation: cleaning up with plants- ex. Locoweeds take selenium out of soil.

Reclamation- chemical or physical repairing of __________ degraded areas such as open pit mines. ex. SMCRA requires reclamation of land after mining to restore the natural shape of the land.

Mitigation- To moderate or alleviate in force or intensity ex.Wetland Mitigation- Developers are required to mitigate damage of a wetland by re-creating a _______ wetland in a different area.



Mineral: a naturally occurring inorganic solid element or compound with an unique _____________ composition and a regular internal ___________ structure.

Mineral formation:

  • Solidifying _________
  • Solidifying _________
  • _____________ from evaporating salt water solution
  • Hot underground water that cools
  • High temperatures and pressure cause new minerals to grow



Economic Mineralogy: the study of minerals that are __________ for manufacturing and are important parts of domestic and international commerce. Metal bearing ores are the most ___________ minerals.

  • The valuable crystal resources are everywhere but they need to be __________ and in places of easy _______ to be useful.

Global World Resources

World Resource Depletion Forecast- at present rates of consumption, how much time do we have left until depletion for lead, copper and gold.


  • The metals consumed in greatest quantity by world industry include ______, aluminum, manganese, copper, chromium and nickel.

Nonmetal Mineral Resources

  • Include gemstones, mica, talc, asbestos, sand, gravel, salts, limestone, and soils.
  • ______ and _______ have the highest economic value of nonmetals and metals for their use in making roads and cement.
  • Evaporates: are materials deposited by _______________ of chemical solutions. They are mined for halite, gypsum, and potash. Often found at 97% purity. Halite is used for water _________ and as road salt and refined as table salt. Gypsum is used for __________ and potash is used for ____________.

Strategic Metals and Minerals

  • World industry depends on about ___ minerals and metals, some of which exist in plentiful supplies while others do not like ______, silver and lead.
  • Strategic metals and minerals: resources a country uses but _______ produce itself. A government usually will consider these materials as capable of ________ its economy or military strength if unstable global economics or politics were cut off to supplies.
  • Usually less developed countries sacrifice the __________ to mine and become producers of resources other countries need. This emphasis on a single export is not a ________ foundation for an entire economy to be built since stable international markets are not a reality.

Environmental Effect on Research Extraction:

Physical processes of mining and physical or chemical properties of separating minerals, metals, and other geological resources from ores or other materials.

Ore: A rock in which valuable or useful metal occurs at a concentration ______ enough to make mining it economically attractive.

  • Copper: economically viable concentration is close to ____ percent.
  • Gold and other precious metals: desirable concentration is close to 0.0001 percent.

Methods of Mining:

  • Placer Mining: process in which native metals deposited in the gravel of stream beds are washed out ___________. Stream beds and aquatic life are __________.
  • Surface mining: Materials are removed from large, deep ________ mines by big equipment.
    • Strip mining: Miners dig parallel trenches to expose the ore. The waste or overburden from the first trench fills the _________. Nearly a million acres of US land have been destroyed by strip mining- land is left barren and water is polluted, 50% US ______ is strip mined
    • Open-pit surface mining miners dig a large pit to remove ore.
    • Mountaintop removal mining: mountain is removed for _______
  • Heap-leach extraction- gold is separated from ores using alkaline-_________ solution which is extremely toxic to the environment during its inevitable leaks into the groundwater
  • Deep mining: Underground tunnels- deep __________ and tunnels are used to reach the deepest deposits.
  • Uranium Processing- One of the most environmentally damaging types of mining. _________% of nuclear waste is produced in the process!
  • Aluminum Electrolytic Extraction- Making aluminum from bauxite requires huge amounts of ____________. Recycle your aluminum!

Mining Hazards:

  • Tunnels collapse or natural gas in coal mines can cause __________
  • Acidic and toxic waste runoff is caused by surface waste deposits called __________
    • Tailings (waste) can contain hazardous substances such as lead and mercury or uranium
    • Rain and ground water dissolves metals and toxic materials which causes pollution in __________ water
    • 19,000 km of rivers and streams in _______ are contaminated by mine drainage
  • Long exposed ridges called spoil banks are susceptible to erosion and chemical __________.
  • Soil is destroyed which prevents _____________

Controlling Mining:

  • Regulated by the Bureau of Land Management.
  • Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 requires mining companies to terra form and replant ______________ on land that was strip mined.
    • Expense of reclamation is high, approximately $1,000 per acre
    • Mining companies must put ________ aside in escrow to pay for the clean up of a site after mining
  • The best way to control mining is to conserve resources. Reuse and __________ metals!
  • Federal regulations should protect ___________ from mining!


  • Fishing Methods
    • Purse-seine fishing- one or more boats deploys a large net around and underneath a school of fish, the net then closes like a drawstring ______. Perfect for deep sea fish like _____.
    • Trawling and Dredging- Nets as large as a _______ ______ are dragged near the sea floor. Dredging scrapes the seafloor distroying the ecosystem and innocent bycatch. Perfect for capturing bottom fish like shrimp and _________.
    • Longlining- baited hooks up to _____ MIILES LONG are excellent for swordfish and tuna hunting. Also for capturing birds and __________.
    • Harpooning or spearfishing- traditional fishing methods such as spearing a _________ fish such as tuna or swordfish don't result in bycatch damage.
  • Overfishing
    • Commercial fishing has become highly technical and efficient- between _______ and GPS fish don't stand a chance. Many more fish are being caught than are left to maintain the population- 70% of the world's fish species are either overexpoited or _________. Overfishing has led to the closure of once prolific areas such as the Grand Banks and Newfoundland. Cod, haddock, tuna, swordfish and Patagonian toothfish (Chilean _____ ______) are especially hard hit. Better choices are vegetarian _______ and wild Alaskian salmon.
  • Aquaculture
    • Aquaculture to the rescue! Raising fish in ponds or fenced areas could be sustainable. ______ of our fish such as shrimp, salmon, oysters and clams are raised in aquaculture.
      • However, crowding creates a lot of ________ that pollute the water and excess antibiotic use is creating antibiotic resistant __________!!