Good post. My only comment is on the "somewhat balanced". Even way back in the late 60's the concept of "balance of nature" was pretty much toast to most ecologists. It seems nature wants to careem from one extreme to another when it comes to ecosystems. So it is also with the word "natural". It seems that there are very few "natural" ecosystems left on the planet. IF they were there in the first place!! It seems that "primitive" man had more impact on ecosystems than we imagined. The real issue is what we want from wildlands. Elk are good. So are wolves. Wait. The orchardists in Chelan County want to kill all the elk. For me I need elk viewing for my business income.... they need elk so they sell their permits from the Wildlife Department for extra income. As you note the problem is not the park. It is the wildlands that surround the park. When I was working on Forest Planning we defined a "desired future condition" for Forest Service managed land. Many folks said they just wanted "natural" conditions. Natural is an act of faith more in tune with religion than land management. The good news is given the demographic changes in this country most of America will soon lose interest in National Parks, Forests, and BLM lands. When I started working in the 60's I always marveled at the ghost towns scattered throughout the west. There were people everywhere at the turn of the century. I even found a cabin at 5000 feet 20 miles from the nearest road and ten miles from the nearest trail inside Sequoia National Park from the 1930's. I suspect in 50 years people will be exploring the abandoned summer homes in Montana and other places and marveling at what possessed people to live so far from the cities. It is anybodies guess as to whether the wildlands will be in better or worse shape in the future.