Policy Update Feb 13, 2018

Position on H.R. 835 & H.R. 4895

NPCA submitted the following positions to the House Natural Resources Committee ahead of a markup scheduled for February 14, 2018.

H.R. 835: To update the map of, and modify the maximum acreage available for inclusion in, the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument – NPCA supports this legislation to modify the maximum acreage available for inclusion in Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Currently, the monument is surrounded by private land; there is no access to the park along the western boundary. A private landowner has offered to donate his property to the National Park Service (NPS) to expand the park and provide access to lands on the west side. This property addition will enable NPS to more easily perform fuel mitigation activities, as needed, in order to reduce risk of catastrophic wildfires within the park, which could affect both the park and its neighbors. The addition also expands NPS management of critical wildlife migration corridors.

H.R. 4895: Medgar Evers National Monument Act – Medgar Evers was a powerful voice and presence for the civil rights movement. A veteran of United States armed forces, Evers joined the fight for equality upon returning to civilian life and served as the first NAACP field secretary for Mississippi. Although his voice was silenced by an assassin’s bullet in 1963, his legacy survived his death at the age of 37. NPCA supports the establishment of national park site commemorating his life and work. However, NPCA opposes language in the bill regarding “buffer zones,” since it seeks to override existing NPS authorities’ to protect park resources and values. NPS must consider how activities on adjacent lands affect park resources and the visitor experience and be able to engage the community in finding reasonable solutions to potentially difficult management challenges.