Two US ecosystems – that have for a long while been nothing more than relics – have recently been designated by the National Park Service as national natural landmarks. The landmarks are the Wade Tract Preserve (southern Georgia) and the Zumwalt Prairie (Oregon). According to Jonathan B. Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service, being designated in this way is akin to gaining of recognition of being one of the US’s “extraordinary landscapes.” Further, according to scientific experts, the Wade Tract Preserve is reminiscent of what this part of America would have looked like when the Europeans colonized it. Some trees there are over three hundred years old.
The Zumwalt Prairie is where large groups of mammals, birds and prey make their home and owned by The Nature Conservancy which bought 27,000 acres of it in 2000 (marking Oregon’s largest acquisition in its history. A further 6,065 acres were added six years later, rendering it Oregon’s largest private nature sanctuary. the area has been surveyed, monitored and investigated in the hope of forming a better understanding of how to protect sensitive species.
It is all the more fitting that today, April 22, is Earth Day.