“Leadership is hard because it’s a gray decision. It’s not a black and white decision. You have to take a breath, take two steps back, and figure out what the objective is and why the resource is being protected in order to make the right decision.” – Phil Gaines
Phil Gaines recently attended the California Parks training conference. He joins this episode to share what he learned there as well as his wealth of experience in park management and viewshed protection. One unexpected experience for this self-proclaimed Southern boy accustomed to sunshine, was venturing to the snow-filled wilderness of California. However, it was there that he found an interesting issue in the parks between protecting a historic view shed or letting nature take its course. This is one of the latest compelling clashes between preservation and progress.
There were other impactful moments while he was at the conference including learning from park rangers from around the country and talking about the importance of friends groups and the impact of homelessness on parks. They also talked about viewshed protection, which he learned firsthand when trying to preserve the Table Rock Overlook. He argued that the view was sacred and a way to connect people to the resource. He found that viewshed protection was a difficult decision, as it often involves compromising between natural and cultural landscapes. Despite the difficulty of the decision, Phil was able to protect the view of Table Rock Mountain, giving visitors the opportunity to be blown away by its magnificence.
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