After 50 years of debate, Scotland will get its first-ever national park this month. The area around Loch Lomond, where the park will be established, attracts 5 million visitors annually but currently lacks an effective management structure to balance the area’s conflicting interests and protect the landscape and wildlife that are its main attraction. Establishment of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, which will be overseen by a 25-member board that began work today, will hopefully solve that problem. The board will work to conserve the natural and cultural heritage of the area, promote sound resource use, and encourage sustainable economic and social development in the region. But critics fear that the new national park will result in a flood of additional visitors and rampant development.

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