Protecting the Natural World in the 21st CenturyContributing their special skills: Rock climbers help scientists monitor species on the vertical landscapes of Yosemite National Park

In today's world, it's clear that our natural environment cannot be preserved and protected by the few people officially designated with this task. It will take all of us, in all parts of the world. We all need to find ways to help in this monumental task.

Citizen Science offers each of us a path to find special ways in which we can each help protect our part of the world. It's an elegant, efficient, and engaging solution to the huge environmental problems we face in the 21st century.

It is also becoming clear in this century that protected areas of the world - parks, preserves, reservse, refuges, etc. -  can only be managed effectively by engaging all stakeholders in the stewardship process. We need to find ways to create collaborations between stakeholders:  land management agencies, regional communities and governments, private landowners, cities and metro areas, tourism operators, tourists, recreationists, scouts, seniors, children, student organizations, and other visitor groups.

I believe the future of protected area management needs to include creating effective ways to engage all stakeholders in the management process. This will provide benefits to the places and the people today, and transmit to succeeding generations the knowledge and commitment to ensure continued protection of these special places into the future.