Ritical Essay Assignment for wildland recreation behaviour class


Over the years managers, scientists, politicians and the general public have all played a role in guiding how the various agencies manage land. At times, decisions as to how to allocate resources and manage visitor capacity have become a challenge at best and contentious at worst. For several weeks we have been discussing history, values, sense of place and odd facts when it comes to the management of wildlands. When it comes to decisions on how to allocate resources and manage visitors, all of these perspectives play a key role as decisions of any kind are ultimately based on values.

One such contentious issue is the management of Yellowstone National Park in the winter. Yellowstone is perhaps our most iconic national parks, central to the entire mission of the National Park Service. Over the years snowmobile use and access during the winter has been a contentious issue, involving lawsuits, numerous public hearings and even an executive order by President George W. Bush. Although this issue is years old, the situation is still current and has not been completely settled. Over the last three years the park convened a panel of scientists (including my advisor Chris Monz) to continue to work on this issue. This summer Yellowstone released a a?Proposed Rulea? for public comment about how winter use (specifically snowmobiles and snow coaches) will be managed in the park.

For your critical essay, write a careful, thoughtful analysis of this situation based on your reading of the benefits, values and purpose of Yellowstone. You will not be judged on whether you favor or oppose winter snowmobiling, but rather how you evaluate this issue as a future recreation management professional.

Read the information at the following links as a starting point for your research:


Your response to his essay will be evaluated on the following:

a) Clarity (30%15 pts). Answers must be clear, well written, and concise
b) Critical thinking/critical framework (30%15 pts) Your answer must demonstrate your ability to think critically about the issue and as such demonstrate your depth of understanding of the subject matter. The best answers will describe a critical framework by which this issue will be analyzed.
c) Application of theory and concepts (30%15 pts). Fundamental theories and concepts covered must be cited and referenced to support your critical argument. You must include at least two referencesreadings we discussed in class are OK, but do not simply cite a?class notesa? as one of your two sources
d) Creativity (10%5pts). You must attempt to examine the issues raised in a new and different way. Regurgitation of facts and established processes, while important to support your answer, will not suffice for the best answer. Also, creativity in how you present your answer will be valued.

Your answer must be word-processed and of professional quality and a minimum of four pages (excluding references) double-spaced, 12 point font. Try to keep your papers under 6 pages. This assignment is worth 50 points.

Due: October 1st, 2013