Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Proposals for a U.S. GeoHeritage initiative

A draft proposal for creation of a U.S. GeoHeritage initiative prepared by an ad hoc committee of the Geological Society of America is posted on the Society's web site for comment by GSA members through May 16.

“Geoheritage” is a generic but descriptive term applied to sites or areas of geologic features with significant scientific, educational, cultural, or aesthetic value.
The GSA position statement recommends:

  • Recognize and support designation and appropriate management of geoheritage sites
  • Encourage collaboration and partnerships to identify, designate, and manage geoheritage sites
  • Support U.S. participation in UNESCO’s Global Network of National Geoparks
  • Respect and honor the needs and interests of private landowners with special geologic features on their land
The Grand Canyon is regularly described as one of the top candidates for GeoHeritage status. Yet, the position statement notes that "None of the 77 Geoparks designated worldwide
are in the United States." And therein lies the rub. Any attempt to give an international and especially United Nations recognition to parks or other sites in the U.S. is expected by many to generate a strong political backlash over fears of loss of U.S. sovereignty or foreign interference.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous7:01 PM

    Without federal state and local legislation to protect geodiversity, this efffort is doomed to failure. Private property and silly fears of loss of sovereignty rule the day. The UK is way ahead on this effort.