The USA was first place to recognise the need to protect areas and in 1872 Yellowstone National Park became a protected area. The USA has really led the way historically with nature conservation. Conservationists and nature lovers such as John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt helped convince Americans that preserving land, water, and wildlife was important national business. John Muir set up The Sierra Club to conserve wildlife, a prominent American conservation organization still going today.

The USA has one tenth of all the protected areas globally and some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world such as Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho), the Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado), the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee and North Carolina), Big Bend National Park (Texas) and the Everglades National Park (Florida). Some of these places I will get to see on this trip but I will definitely have to come back to do some more exploring of these wonders! There is just soo much to see and not enough time in one visit!

I had applied to the Nottingham Roosevelt Memorial Travelling Scholarship to learn about how these great national parks are managed and conserved and research species re introductions as both beaver and the wolf have been re-introduced in Yellowstone NP. Beaver are a keystone species for habitat manipulation and are known to improve habitats for fish and amphibians and play a role in flood storage. Nottinghamshire has already seen the re-introduction of the dormouse and will potentially have adders re introduced. Could the beaver be next?