.. From Lawless To Law-Abiding

THE VALUE OF THE PARK IS REFLECTED IN IT’S LAWS

The seeming capricious nature of the laws and legal structure in Yellowstone National Park is the result of a unique combination of historic, cultural, social, and environmental Factors.

The experiment of “National Parks,” (often called ‘the best idea that America ever had.’) is unique, in that it portends to establish a perpetual entity; on par with those entities established by the constitution. It’s a shame that the deliberation that went into the preparation of our constitution was not applied to the establishment of Yellowstone National Park.

The park has been managed, (both past and present,) on an ad hoc basis. As crises or circumstances demanded decisions, they have been made. Little to no advance planning has ever gone into the decisions surrounding park policy, governance or regulation.

A quick summary of the mechanisms used to enforce the law shows this capricious nature.

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Initially, there was no governance, law enforcement, or regulation. The typical cultural mind set of the times assumed a primacy of humans over nature. And nature was to be used. Individualism, Jacksonian strength, and manifest destiny were the driving mental perspectives. The park was set aside, (through the manipulation of congress,) by the empowered, for the wealthy, and with little thought to consequences.

This attitude led to . . .

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