NPCA submitted the following positions to the House Natural Resources Committee for ahead of a markup scheduled for October 3rd-4th.
H.R. 1488: Indiana Dunes National Park Act – NPCA is concerned that this bill does not include language that seeks to protect the unique natural resources found at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Currently, the Lakeshore is managed in a similar way to other Lakeshores and National Recreation Areas – the park allows for uses and activities that may not be compatible with the purpose and significance of a National Park, such as trapping. Additionally, Indiana Dunes is in a highly developed and industrial setting and was established with a fragmented boundary—many subsequent additions to the park are non-contiguous parcels. NPCA encourages the committee to 1) consider a boundary study and 2) change the land acquisition policy before making this designation change. A boundary study could ease management challenges and enhance the visitor experience to the area.
H.R. 2897: To authorize the Mayor of the District of Columbia and the Director of the National Park Service to enter into cooperative management agreements for the operation, maintenance, and management of units of the National Park System in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes – NPCA is concerned that the language outlined in Section 1 (a) expands the District of Columbia’s role in park management by allowing the city unprecedented oversight of management, operation, and the design and construction of improvements of park units. Cooperative agreements are intended to introduce shared responsibility for the protection and preservation of national parks but they cannot relieve the Park Service of their stewardship duties. We encourage the committee to consider inserting the District of Columbia into the current code instead of inserting the language as outlined in Section 1 (a).
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Climate and Conservation Program Manager.