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Volume 26
Number 3
Winter 2009-2010
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Diagram showing the complexity of natural soundscape management. Commentary on the Special Issue
Managing the natural soundscape: The National Park Service as a learning organization
By Wayne Freimund and N. S. Nicholas
Published: 15 Jan 2014 (online)  •  30 Jan 2014 (in print)
Intensified demands for soundscape management
Exploring soundscape issues
Becoming a true learning organization
About the authors
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INCREASED PUBLIC ACCESS TO NATIONAL PARKS is an important artifact of the last century’s technological development. The expansion of aircraft flight-seeing, snowmobile use, and motorcycle touring are examples of technologic advancements that now commonly impact national park soundscapes (see Barber et al., [article 1, article 2, article 3], and Park et al., this volume). To adequately manage these impacts, the National Park Service (NPS) must see them as part of an evolution toward a noisier society rather than as isolated, situation-specific events. The natural soundscape also needs to be perceived across society as an elemental and foundational feature of a protected area. This special issue of Park Science illustrates some of the ways the National Park Service is building capacity to maintain the resilience of the natural soundscape (Walker and Salt 2006) in this context. Planning, management, and research are all under way to better understand the roles and functions of natural sound in the ecologic and human values of protected areas. But key questions remain: How do changes in the natural soundscape alter the other components of a protected area to which the soundscape is fundamental? At what point will the broader system change to an entirely different state from which it may never return?

The National Park Service must see [intrusions on natural soundscapes] as part of an evolution toward a noisier society rather than as isolated, situation-specific events.

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This page updated:  28 December 2009

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From the Guest Editor(s)
Comments and Corrections
At Your Service
Information Crossfile
Science Notes
Field Moment
Meetings of Interest
Masthead Information
From landscapes to soundscapes: Introduction to the special issue
Measuring and monitoring soundscapes in the national parks
Integrating soundscapes into National Park Service planning
Excerpt from Governors Island General Management Plan
Conserving the wild life therein--Protecting park fauna from anthropogenic noise
Soundscapes monitoring and an overflight advisory group: Informing real-time management decisions at Denali
Soundscape management at Grand Canyon National Park
Tools of the trade: An example of using spectrograms to count fixed-wing aircraft
Visually impaired students help collect acoustic data in Grand Canyon National Park
Protecting the acoustic conditions at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve
Generator noise along the U.S.-Mexico border
Airport expansion adjacent to San Antonio Missions
A program of research to support management of visitor-caused noise at Muir Woods National Monument
Modeling and mapping hikers’ exposure to transportation noise in Rocky Mountain National Park
Aircraft overflights at national parks: Conflict and its potential resolution
  Managing the natural soundscape: The National Park Service as a learning organization
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