Graduation Year

Fall 2010

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Reader 1

J. Emil Morhardt


The topic of protected area management serves as the focal point of my thesis. The fundamental question I seek to answer is; what constitutes effective environmental management and how is it exemplified in the National Park Service (NPS)? How exactly does the NPS continually earn the trust and confidence of the American people when so many other government agencies are viewed in a negative light? How does the Channel Islands National Park, in particular, shape the economic and political framework in which it operates to achieve its goals? How does this agency effectively manage such a complex ecosystem spanning across five unique islands and the surrounding waters? More specifically, I examine how the NPS designs and implements strategies to simultaneously monitor a variety of endemic species, some of which are on the endangered species list, into feasible tasks and fundable projects. A wealth of information exists providing salient recommendations for improving endangered species recovery efforts, but this paper provides a detailed comparison of two contemporary recovery programs dealing with independent declines of the same species: the island fox. Finally, there is an overlapping mix of jurisdiction responsible for protecting the Channel Islands and I will also be examining the collaborative processes that take place among the multiple stakeholders such as the U.S. Navy, Catalina Island Conservancy, and The Nature Conservancy. The primary purpose of this thesis is to assess the relationships the NPS develops with other agencies in order to fulfill its mission within the context of the Channel Islands.