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
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.