This process of regularly surveying how the public feels about how its resources are being managed seems to be necessary yet far too few are being done.
Gauging nature's beauty
What do you think of our parks? Results from the National Park Service's comprehensive survey may help shape the visitor's experience
By Michael Doyle - Bee Washington Bureau Published 12:00 am PST Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Quick, think of Yosemite National Park.
Or maybe Sequoia, or Kings Canyon. Take your pick, and answer this question: What's the first thing that comes to mind? Social scientists may soon want to find out, in a sweeping survey potentially significant for the future of the parks.
"Kings Canyon?" park spokeswoman Alex Picavet said Monday. "It's the most beautiful wild place in California, in my opinion."
Yes, Picavet is biased. The National Park Service pays her salary.
She presumably won't be called by the researchers preparing the agency's new Comprehensive Survey of the American Public. But several thousand other Americans will be, as the National Park Service shows it's serious about what potential customers think of its parks.