Forum - National Parks

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Overview > Collaboration > AR120 - Federal States > National Parks

I'm interested in finally getting our National Parks network off the ground. I think it's important that we still have National Parks represent the "best of the best" in the Federal States, so I'd like to come up with a system that allows us to "award" National Park status to areas of particularly high-quality mapping. As such, I'm interested in the thoughts of the community on this topic; at this point I'm thinking there'd be some sort of committee that creates minimum guidelines for what's needed to create a National Park, and to review applications or nominations on a regular rolling interval.

In the meantime, mappers are welcome and encouraged to continue mapping State Parks, but are asked to please refrain from referring to any "National Park" (or "National Forest" or "National Coastline" or anything along those lines) until we have more clarity on this issue. Thanks!

Posted by TheMayor on 17 August 2020 at 20:15.
Edited by TheMayor on 17 August 2020 at 20:25.

I think this is a wonderful idea! Here are my thoughts on the matter. The committee should have what, maybe 5 interested mappers with stateowner status, all selected by the FSA coordinator. I don't think we need a vote for this. My thoughts on criterion would be as follows:

-detailed, realistic, and complete (or near-complete) mapping -something that would be made a national preserve (general word for national things) in the real world, weather for cultural significance (in which case that should be written in a good wiki article), or for natural significance, or both. For example, a national historic monument might not have much on the mapping side (but what is there should be detailed and good), but it would be expected to have a very good wiki article attached.

Now, another question is what the committee will precisely "govern". I think that any "preserve" that is national should fall under their purview, but with less important "preserves" (like National River, National Military Park, etc) being subject to less stringent standards. Here's a list of all the types of national preserves in the us, all of which I think the committee should cover. Admittly, this is a good amount, so it might be best to have some of the lesser ones be overseen by just one member (each member would have a few under their sole purview). I've shown how it would be divided in the list below as well.

National Park - Team National Monument - Team National Preserve - Team National Historical Park - Team National Historic Site - Team International Historic Site -Member One National Battlefield Park -Member Two National Military Park -Member Two National Battlefield -Member Two National Battlefield Site -Member Two National Memorial National Recreation Area - Team National Seashore - Team National Lakeshore - Team National River - Member Three National Reserve - Member Four National Parkway - Member Five National Trail - Member Five

Member two gets all the battlefield ones because they are all very similar, and this somewhat uneven distribution would also allow for the different amounts of time each member would be able to spend on the project. In terms of how to submit, any mapper in the FSA could submit a submission on the wiki page for that purpose (categorized for each type), and all the submissions would be looked over approximately every quarter, with the accepted ones announced, likely with explanations as to the choices. Mappers without a wiki account could send a pm instead. A guide to how to make good national parks could also be included in that page.

I hope that this is helpful!

Posted by Lithium on 17 August 2020 at 22:33.

Seems like a solid plan, but I don't think we need to be incredibly as strict with the selection. In the U.S. every state and territory has at least one national park/forest/grassland/sanctuary and we need to strike a balance between quality mapped parks, and allowing each state to have one, if modeled more on the lines of the United States.

Posted by Brunanter on 17 August 2020 at 23:23.

Maybe we could make the national parks the most strict, with national monuments, preserves, etc being much less so? That way national parks are very much the very best mapping, but we can keep the availability of national preserves, if that makes sense.

Posted by Lithium on 18 August 2020 at 00:26.

I don’t think we need to have quotas or caps for states, but I do like the idea of “National Park” being the best of the best with more basic standards for National Forests, etc.

Posted by TheMayor on 18 August 2020 at 04:26.

I don't think we need a committee for this, I think we could have a nomination process where a mapper of can nominate a mapped area within their state, providing an explanation of the site they are elevating (the history of the site, it's significance to the FSA as a whole, why it should be considered a national monument) and which type of national monument it should be considered, whether historic battlefield, wilderness area, national park.

Then, the sites get put to a public vote, possibly quarterly, with a cap on the number of submissions per voting cycle.

The submissions receive a simple Yes or No vote with an option to include comments. Submissions that get enough votes (simple majority or something more restrictive) would be accepted as national monuments.

Posted by PColumbus73 on 22 August 2020 at 19:47.

I like the idea in general, and I agree with Lithium's idea of a stratification with NPs being the best-mapped and other areas being more flexible in their standards. As for a committee, I'm 65/35 in favor of it; my thought is that there aren't many well-mapped places right now that would instantly be a qualifier, and committee "work" is negligible at best. At the same time, I find PColumbus's idea intriguing as it does open it up to broader mapping. My fear there is vote fatigue. There are a lot of other projects that require voting already, and running votes is a bit complicated to ensure that there are no shenanigans.

Posted by Alessa on 24 August 2020 at 21:47.

We do have the coordinator vote of confidence every six months... does anyone have any thoughts on rolling national parks into that ballot so we add "new" national parks twice a year? That would help prevent vote fatigue since it'd be part of an existing scheduled vote, and now that we have a stronger system to ensure more accurate voting I think that could be a good compromise. From there, perhaps the percent clearance would determine the "rank" of the title (e.g., national forests, monuments, etc. only need a simple majority vote but National Parks would need a 75% approval to be granted). Thoughts?

Posted by TheMayor on 24 August 2020 at 22:31.

We could host the vote for new parks en masse every 3-6 months. This will decreasing voting fatigue a little. Also, I like the 75% approval idea :)

Posted by CartographerKing on 24 August 2020 at 22:45.

And if we went with the vote, what about other national preserves? I don't think they should just be allowed willy-nilly...

Posted by Lithium on 24 August 2020 at 22:59.

I think there should be some minimum requirements before a mapper can submit their work to be inducted as a national park or monument.

For instance, I think the mapper should specify what they are submitting their work for (National Park / Monument / Wilderness Area, or other category) For National Parks & Monuments, the mapper may need to provide a backstory justifying the importance of the site in question, mapping quality could be a factor either in the submission process, or during voting Wilderness Areas could require a minimum size to be considered for a vote

Posted by PColumbus73 on 25 August 2020 at 01:41.
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