reprinted from Positions on Property, Vol. 2, No. 1 (Jan. 1995)

Structure of Biosphere Reserves

Inside, Beyond or Entirely Separate from the National Park System
“a global network of protected areas
to conserve representative examples of the world’s ecosystems” (1) Chart of Biosphere Reserve Structure. The chart shows the center "core" area which allows no human activity and is strictly protected. The core is surrounded by the "buffer zone.". This area allows tourism, recreation, education and research. Surrounding the buffer zone is the "transition area." This area allows tourism, recreation and human settlements.

 Relationship to
National Parks:

“A national park normally corresponds to a core area together with a buffer zone.” - UNESCO(4)

 Relationship to
Other Park Service Designations:

“Wilderness Areas are frequently designated as core areas of Biosphere Reserves, or are included within larger areas delineated as core areas. Biosphere Reserves may also include Research Natural Areas, Experimental Research Areas, World Heritage Sites, National Natural Landmarks, Wild and Scenic Rivers, and National Trails.” - National Park Service(5)

(1) William P. Gregg, Jr. and Betsy Ann McGean, “Biosphere Reserves” ORION Nature Quarterly, Summer 1985, p51
(2) “A Practical Guide to MAB,” UNESCO, June 1987, p24 and “The Man and the Biosphere Program - questions and answers,” Southern Appalachian Man and Biosphere Cooperative, p2
(3) William P. Gregg, Jr. “on Wilderness, National Parks and Biosphere Resources.” Proceedings of the 4th Annual Symposium on Biosphere Reserves (1987) p37.
(4) Ibid, p24
(5) “Natural Resources Management,” Guidelines, Chapter 4, p22, NPS - 77

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