“At one time areas along the roadways [in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park] were carefully cut and trimmed, creating a lawnlike appearance. When a new superintendent was appointed, he ordered this practice stopped, which engendered a good deal of complain from visitors. The roadsides had been so attractive, they said, so neat, and now they had a rough and ungainly appearance. On this small but significant point the superintendent was adamant, however, and for exactly the right reason. Visitors to the park were reacting to a conventional, familiar, and deeply ingrained image of beauty - the trimmed and landscaped lawn. The goal should not be to stimulate that familiar response, but to confront the visitor with the less familiar setting of an unmanaged landscape. The mild shock of a scene to which there is no patterned response, and the engendering of an untutored personal response, is precisely what national park management should seek, even in such seemingly small details.”


Joseph L. Sax, Mountains Without Handrails: Reflections on the National Parks
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Mountains Without Handrails: Reflections on the National Parks Mountains Without Handrails: Reflections on the National Parks by Joseph L. Sax
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