NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center




What?s next for National Park Service? Expert says no easy answers

An environmental historian with more than 30 years of experience will talk about the challenges facing the U.S. National Park Service as part of a lecture series at New Mexico State University.


Head and shoulders of man
William C. Tweed will give a talk titled ?Facing the Future: The Fate of Our National Parks in the Twenty-First Century? on Thursday, Oct. 27 as part of "NMSU Celebrates the National Parks" series. (Courtesy Photo)

William C. Tweed was a ranger-naturalist, public affairs specialist and park manager among other jobs. His last decade was spent at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California as the parks chief naturalist. His talk titled ?Facing the Future: The Fate of Our National Parks in the Twenty-First Century? will be from 6-7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27 at O?Donnell Hall, Room 111 on the NMSU campus.

"The twenty-first century, a time of unprecedented environmental, demographic, and economic change, is presenting our national parks with challenges that reject the easy answers of the past,? Tweed said. ?Indeed, many of the foundational tenets of the national park idea -- including the key belief that the natural world is stable when not disturbed by humans and that change can be prevented through preservation -- are now rejected by modern scientific data. What does all this mean for the future of our parks and the ideas that support them??

Since leaving federal service in 2006, Tweed has been a newspaper columnist, field naturalist, lecturer, and consultant. Later this year, two new books Tweed authored will be available, ?King Sequoia: The Tree that Inspired a Nation, Created Our National Park System, and Changed the Way We think About Nature? and a revised edition of ?Challenge of the Big Trees: A History of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.?

Tweed?s talk is the fifth in in a series for ?NMSU Celebrates the National Parks,? a program sponsored by NMSU?s College of Arts and Sciences to bring awareness of the national parks during the organization?s centennial. The NMSU bookstore will have copies of Tweed?s book ?Uncertain Path? for sale leading up to the event.

In addition to the lecture series, NMSU?s College of Arts and Sciences is hosting classes and sponsoring a blog series to honor and raise awareness about America?s national parks. NMSU history professor Jon Hunner is traveling the country blogging and writing short histories of the parks he visits while on sabbatical this fall. He plans to compile the posts into a book when he returns. Read about his travels at drivenbyhistory.blogspot.com.

The final speaker for ?NMSU Celebrates the National Parks? lecture series will be Nov. 3. More information is available at https://history.nmsu.edu/events/nps/. For questions, contact NMSU?s Director of the Public History Program Peter Kopp at pkopp@nmsu.edu.