National Park Service Revisions to Management Policies Warrant Close Inspection

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   October 18, 2005
Contact:   Craig Obey, NPCA, cell: 202-669-9689


National Park Service Revisions to Management Policies Warrant Close Inspection

- The National Park Service today released its proposed edits to the policies that govern the management of the nation’s beloved national parks. Last month, an extensive draft rewrite of the Park Service’s management policies was leaked to the media, revealing potential changes that would have eroded decades-old protections for national parks such as the Great Smoky Mountains, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon. The Park Service is accepting public comments on its revisions to the management policies for 90 days.

A statement by the National Parks Conservation Association follows:

“This proposal appears to be a significant improvement over the earlier draft, but the true test will be whether it is an improvement to the existing 2001 Management Policies of the National Park Service. The park professionals who crafted this proposal have the parks’ long-term preservation in mind, but given the haste with which it was revised, we are reviewing it very carefully.

“Our preliminary analysis reveals that many of the most damaging proposals are not included in this revision, and it appears that a number of management and administrative enhancements have been included. But there are substantive changes that require close attention, including proposals that might weaken the agency’s mandate to protect park air quality and limit the feasibility of preserving new sites that have national significance. We will also pay close attention to how the document directs park managers to prioritize the preservation of our national parks.

“This is the beginning of a process. Regardless of the nature of the proposals in this rewrite, we are concerned that those who want to commercialize and exploit our national parks will be working hard to include potentially harmful changes to the management policies, a reason for our question about why this process was initiated.

“We encourage all Americans, as we intend to do, to read and weigh in on this proposal. The protection of our national heritage is at stake.”

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