Eastern National Parks

Note to readers: see sample letter at bottom of this page for your convenience. It is fairly short (390 words) which is good when sending to politicians.

To: President Obama

Cc: Dept of Interior, Ken Salazar

      State Senator, John Kerry (D-MA)

RE: More Eastern National Parks and Wildlife Watching

Dear President Obama,

            I recently watched Ken Burn’s great 12.5 hour mini-documentary PBS broadcast on our National Parks.  I received my Ph.D. (Boston College, 2005) combining the fields of science and education and found that local citizens become empowered to care for natural resources when exposed to them. For instance, I studied eastern coyotes and found that residents and students became very interested and supportive of this controversial animal when accurate facts were presented. Many people were very supportive of my book, Suburban Howls, which describes (from a biologist’s standpoint) my research and experiences studying this unique animal.

            I am a big fan of wildlife watching and the numbers support it as a very important economic contributor to the economy of many states. For instances, in my home state of Massachusetts in 2006 Wildlife Watching outspent hunting $755 million to $71 million. Despite WW being over 10 to 1 greater in many states, there are virtually no designated non-hunting public wildlife watching areas in my state nor throughout most of the Northeast. This is very undemocratic and ignores the fact that National Parks like Yellowstone are famous for their viewable (i.e., non-hunted) wildlife.

            In essence, I believe very strongly that your administration needs to seriously consider making portions of the Northeast as National Parks so wildlife lovers (some hunters included) can watch wildlife unmolested for future generations. I believe that Cape Cod National Seashore (30 minutes from where I live) should be made a National Park so wildlife watchers have a place in MA that is hunting free. I also believe very strongly that the Kancamagus scenic byway in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest should also be made a National Park within the existing National Forest. This would give wildlife fanatics another place to observe wildlife in a natural state. Finally, the creation of Maine Woods National Park (see: restore.org), a proposed 3.2 million acre park and preserve touted by many conservationists as America’s next great National Park should be seriously considered.

            Mr. President, these 3 areas, made as National Parks, would make wildlife management more democratic. The current strategy of having hunters pay for state fish and wildlife departments’ budgets and thus determine all of the policies associated with wildlife management is not fair. Wildlife watching is a much, much greater economic contributor to the economy yet there are virtually no places in the Northeast where we can watch non-hunted wildlife.

            I urge you in the consideration of Cape Cod National Park, Kancamagus National Park, and Maine Woods National Park for the benefit of all Americans.

            Thank you very much for your time. I would be more than glad to personally discuss these ideas with you. Respectfully,

            Jonathan Way, Ph.D.

            Eastern Coyote Research – www.EasternCoyoteResearch.com

Sample Letter to send:

Dear President Obama,

I am a big fan of wildlife watching and the numbers support it as a very important economic contributor to the economy of many states. For instances, in my home state of Massachusetts in 2006 Wildlife Watchers outspent hunters $755 million to $71 million. Despite WW being over 10 to 1 greater in many states, there are virtually no designated non-hunting public wildlife watching areas in my state nor throughout most of the Northeast that are large in size. This is undemocratic and ignores the fact that National Parks like Yellowstone are famous for their viewable (i.e., non-hunted) wildlife.

Your administration needs to seriously consider making portions of the Northeast as National Parks so wildlife lovers (some hunters included) can watch wildlife unmolested for future generations. I believe that Cape Cod National Seashore (30 minutes from where I live) should be made a National Park so wildlife watchers have a place in MA that is hunting free. Within newly recreated Cape Cod National Park I strongly suggest that all public lands in the town of Barnstable also be included in the new national park as well as the current National Seashore at the outer Cape. It is unfair that hunting is allowed in our only large National Park in southern New England. Adding Barnstable to the park system will recognize the location where coywolves have been studied for over 12 years and where research took place to change the name of this animal from coyote to coywolf.

The Kancamagus scenic byway in New Hampshire’s White Mountain National Forest should also be made a National Park within the existing National Forest system. This would give wildlife fanatics another place to observe wildlife in a natural state. I would suggest that the entire 32 mile stretch of the “Kanc” (Route 112) and the valley and mountainous corridor on both sides of the by-way be declared a National Park and be buffered by the existing National Forest.

Finally, the creation of Maine Woods National Park (see: restore.org), a proposed 3.2 million acre park and preserve touted by many conservationists as America’s next great National Park should be seriously considered. Restore.org has a detailed description of this last great national park waiting to be created. I fully back it and the 2.2 million acre portion to be made a national park.

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