Once surrounded and protected by vast wilderness, many of the
national parks are adversely affected by activities outside their
boundaries. The National Park Organic Act established the national
park system and empowered the Secretary of the Interior to manage
5 activities within the parks. Conditions outside park boundaries are not
subject to regulation by the Park Service unless they involve the direct
use of park resources.
Several approaches to protecting the national parks from external
degradation have been proposed, such as one focusing on enacting
10 federal legislation granting the National Park Service broader powers
over lands adjacent to the national parks. Legislation addressing
external threats to the national parks twice passed the House of
Representatives but died without action in the Senate. Also brought to
the table as a possible remedy is giving the states bordering the parks
15 a significant and meaningful role in developing federal park
Because the livelihood of many citizens is linked to the management of
national parks, local politicians often encourage state involvement in
federal planning. But, state legislatures have not always addressed the
20 fundamental policy issues of whether states should protect park
Timber harvesting, ranching and energy exploration compete with
wildlife within the local ecosystem. Priorities among different land uses
are not generally established by current legislation. Additionally, often
25 no mechanism exists to coordinate planning by the state
environmental regulatory agencies. These factors limit the impact of
legislation aimed at protecting park wildlife and the larger park
Even if these deficiencies can be overcome, state participation must be
30 consistent with existing federal legislation. States lack jurisdiction
within national parks themselves, and therefore state solutions cannot
reach activities inside the parks, thus limiting state action to the land
adjacent to the national parks. Under the supremacy clause, federal
laws and regulations supersede state action if state law conflicts with
35 federal legislation, if Congress precludes local regulation, or if federal
regulation is so pervasive that no room remains for state control.
Assuming that federal regulations leave open the possibility of state
control, state participation in policy making must be harmonized with
existing federal legislation.
40 The residents of states bordering national parks are affected by park
management policies. They in turn affect the success of those policies.
This interrelationship must be considered in responding to the external
threats problem. Local participation is necessary in deciding how to
protect park wildlife. Local interests should not, however, dictate
45 national policy, nor should they be used as a pretext to ignore the
threats to park regions.
According to the passage, which of the following developments is most likely if environmental cooperation between the federal government and state governments does not improve?
The "according to the passage..." start to the question tips you off to look for a dnesetail within the passage. Where is the scenario in the question mentioned? Go to the last paragraph, which discusses a combination of national and local responses. It argues that this cooperation is necessary in order to "protect park wildlife." If this cooperation doesn't occur then, wildlife would presumably be harmed. (D) rewards the careful reading.
(A) : Out of Scope. The author never mentions any actual shrinking of national parks, only the danger to the existing land.
(B): Out of Scope. The author argues that the federal government already owns most of the land around national parks, and doesn't suggest anywhere that it will own more without cooperation.
(C): Out of Scope. The author never makes this argument in the passage either.
(D): The Correct Answer
(E): Too specific. There is no direct connection between environmental cooperation and timber harvesting activities
In the context of the passage, the phrase external degradation (lines 8-9) refers to which of the following:
Go back to the lines before and after the phrase to judge its meaning in context.
The phrase refers back to the damage mentioned in ¶1, and is expanded on in the lines below. The author believes that the damage outside park boundaries is supported by state governments, as is argued in ¶s3 and 4. (B) summarizes the nature of the "external degradation."
(A): Out of Scope. Not only does (A) not touch on the meaning of the phrase, but it makes no sense: if the House is willing to address environmental issues, why would parks be threatened?
(B): The Correct Answer
(C): Out of Scope. The interest of local politicians in park management is mentioned in ¶3. However, there‘s no sense from this that the politicians are threatening the parks; rather, they would be more interested in preserving them since the local economies depend on them.
(D): Out of Scope. While the author thinks that the Act leaves some gaps that need to be filled, there‘s no suggestion that it‘s directly threatening the parks.
(E): Local support comes in the last paragraph and is clearly not what the author implies by 'external degradation'
The passage provides support for which of the following assertions?
Topic and Scope - The author discusses approaches to dealing with the problem of the negative effects of surrounding land on national parks.
Mapping the Passage:
¶1 describes a problem facing national parks: negative effects from the land surrounding them.
¶2 describes one approach to dealing with the problem: federal legislation, which failed.
¶3 and 4 describe a second approach: giving power to states to cooperate with adjacent national parks, and describe the problems with it.
¶5 argues that state participation must be tied to federal regulations.
¶6 argues that any solution requires a national response with elements of local participation.
An Inference question, this one requires students to find that one option which can logically follow from the information in the passage without making any extreme assumptions. Only (C) has support in the passage. The claim is originally made in lines 17-20, and ¶s 4 and 5 offer support.
(A): Out of Scope. The Act only gives the right to manage within the park, the part about 'not to overrule state government policy' is not mentioned in the passage.
(B): Out of Scope. This claim is never made in the passage.
(C): The Correct Answer
(D): Extreme answer. ¶3 suggests that local politicians want a greater say in national parks, but this doesn't mean that they want total control.
(E): The passage states the opposite in Para 4.
What is the main purpose of the author in writing the passage?
If you have mapped the passage correctly you will notice that most of the passage discusses the different approaches that can be taken to solve the problem of degradation of national parks. C matches best with this.
(A): Though this is mentioned in the passage it is too specific a choice for a main purpose question. The passage does much more than just this.
(B): there is no one particular ‗plan of action‘ that is mentioned in the passage but several different ones
(C): the Correct Answer
(D): again mentioned in the passage but too specific to be the answer
(E): Since the passage starts with these lines, it might lead some students to think that this is the main idea of the passage. However on reading further through the passage it becomes clear that the scope of the passage is broader as it also discusses approaches to solving this problem.