Cover image for White goats, white lies : the misuse of science in Olympic National Park
Title:
White goats, white lies : the misuse of science in Olympic National Park
Author:
Lyman, R. Lee.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Salt Lake City : University of Utah Press, [1998]

©1998
Physical Description:
ix, 278 pages, 8 pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780874805550
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library QL737.U53 L93 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Although Mountain Goats are native to the Cascade range, they do not appear to have been present in the Olympic Mountains during historic times. Wildlife managers introduced goats in small numbers in what-became Olympic National Park in 1925 and sporadically thereafter for the next twenty years. Because of its protected status, the goat population burgeoned. From the 1950s through the 1970s the goats were one of the features the Park Service used to attract visitors.Then the values of the Park wildlife managers shifted. According to a 1981 statement by the National Park Service (NPS), the mountain goats in Olympic National Park appear to be significantly altering the alpine ecosystem the park was designed to protect and preserve. As a result, park managers have argued that the goats must be eradicated. An eradication program has been in place for several years now. The surrounding controversy has made for strange bedfellows: archaeologists, animal rights activists, and politicians vs. the Sierra Club and National Park Service.White Goats, White Lies does not argue for or against eradication of exotics in Olympic and other national parks. Rather it examines the science used to justify the current park position and questions the extent to which science is an afterthought to NPS decisions. Author R. Lee Lyman questions the notion underlying current park management philosophy that posits an edenic, prehuman condition in nature by which wilderness and park health can be measured. Lyman asserts that it is both difficult to know with certainty what the pre-goat ecosystem was and that such static, pristine models fail to take into account the role of native human populations or evenclimatic variation. In the face of proposed active rehabilitation by the NPS, he counters that this is yet another example of god-playing, as questionable as the original introduction of the mountain goats.


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