Press Release May 8, 2018

Already Short-Staffed Park Service Asked to Support Border Patrol Security

This decision could have serious consequences for national parks already struggling with a reduction in staff.

Washington, D.C. – In an effort to forward the President’s agenda, the Department of Interior announced its plan to temporarily reassign National Park Service law enforcement personnel to two border parks – Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument in Arizona and Amistad National Recreation Area in Texas. Beginning on May 13, the NPS will detail additional officers to each park site to support normal park operations and conduct operations that support US Customs and Border Patrol security objectives.

Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for National Parks Conservation Association

“As summer quickly approaches and we near the busiest season for many of our national parks, the administration’s plan to take law enforcement rangers away from already understaffed and underfunded parks is irresponsible. Furthermore, it is unclear how long the Interior Department will continue to relocate National Park Service personnel to the southern border and the impact this could have on visitors across the country.

“This decision could have serious consequences for national parks already struggling with an 11 percent reduction in staff while also experiencing a 19 percent increase in visitation. Millions of visitors flock to national parks located along our southern border each year to experience the pristine landscapes, unique wildlife, abundant recreational opportunities and cultural resources these places offer. The administration should properly invest in the long-term staffing needs of the national parks on the border and nationwide, rather than shortchanging visitors through this disruptive plan.”

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About National Parks Conservation Association Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its 1.3 million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s most iconic and inspirational places for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.