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Diplomacy in Action

U.S. and Russian Park Management Experts Exchange Expertise

Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs
March 4, 2011


Date: 03/04/2011 Description: The Russian delegation on their visit to the Everglades to exchange expertise on park management. © National Park Sevices photo

A delegation of twenty Russian national park and nature reserve managers and non-governmental representatives concluded their two-week visit to the United States on March 4. During the delegation’s meetings in Washington D.C. and Florida, Russian representatives shared expertise and exchanged views on protected area management and habitat conservation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. In reviewing the responsibilities and operations of American and Russian agencies, particular emphasis was placed on how these agencies are working to balance public usage with efforts to maintain protected areas. In this context, Russian representatives discussed current draft legislation being considered by the Russian Duma, which would allow for increased public access to Russia’s 42 national parks and 102 federal nature reserves. The Russian delegation then travelled to Florida where they toured Apalachicola National Forest, St. Mark’s National Wildlife Refuge, Wakulla Springs State Park, Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Biscayne National Park. During these park visits, ranger education and training, fire management, tourist management, and ongoing ecosystem restoration efforts were discussed. At the trip’s conclusion, U.S. and Russian officials agreed to continue such park management exchanges with a visit of U.S. park officials to Russia later this year. Given the longstanding and successful partnership between Fossil Butte National Monument and Russia’s Khvalynsky National Park, officials also agreed to explore establishing new “sister park” relationships between U.S. and Russian national parks.

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