Collecting and regulation

Kenelm Philip fnkwp at
Sat Sep 26 15:30:22 EDT 1998

	John Grehan remarked:

> My experience with National Parks so far is that there is a tendency
> towards irrational (or perhaps I should say illogical) decisions about
> insect collecting.

This certainly happens, but there are National Parks and then there are
National Parks. I have received excellent cooperation from the various
National Parks in Alaska (which comprise 65% of the area of the entire
National Park system). The main problem is that the Resource Managers
have backgrounds in vertebrate management, and are not familar with
insects. They are, however, educatable. They also appear aware of the
fact that unless they allow some collecting of insects they will never
know what insects live in their Parks. In fact, on several occasions I
have been _asked_ to collect in a National Park, and been provided with
logistic support from NPS.

	The main problem, for amateur collectors, is that the NPS treats
biological material (a renewable resource) the same way they treat anthro-
pological material (non-renewable). All specimens remain the property
of NPS, and must be deposited in a public institution. So an amateur
must normally be associated with a museum in order to obtain a permit.
However, since amateur collections are a major source of material for
most museums, any serious amateur _should_ develop an association with
some museum...

	And yes, people who collect in National Parks all have their
stories about odd restrictions. The classic case recently was a micro-
lep specialist who wanted to collect on Santa Catalina Island (I think).
He was told he would be allowed to collect _one_ specimen of each species.
SInce it can take 10 or 20 years to determine a collection of micros,
that was not very helpful. However, after a lot of talking, this inane
restriction was lifted.

							Ken Philip
fnkwp at

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