Press Release Jul 8, 2019

National Parks Group Challenges President on His Environmental Record

Trump Administration has Taken Nearly 100 Actions Impacting National Parks, Dismantling Environmental Protections

Background: President Trump gave a speech at the White House today regarding his administration’s record on environmental leadership. Despite his claims, the Trump Administration has continuously and systematically attacked science and regulations that have helped protect our environment and America’s national parks.

A full list of major administrative actions affecting national parks can be found here.

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

“Given the Trump administration’s record of attacks against our national parks and public lands, the president’s speech on environmental achievements is baffling. Through nearly 100 actions that impact our national parks since taking office, President Trump has dismantled some of our most important air and water protections and declared open season for harmful energy development, often at the expense of America’s most iconic places. Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante have been torn apart to allow drilling and mining, whereas other presidents have used their executive role to conserve lands and our history for future generations.

“Since the president’s first day in office, he has attacked bedrock laws and critical regulations that protect air, water and wildlife in our national parks and beyond. And the damage won’t end with his administration. Unabated, it will last for generations. This will be the administration that ruins the national parks if they continue with their current agenda.”

Statement by Matt Kirby, Director of Energy and Landscape Conservation for National Parks Conservation Association:

“There’s no question that this administration has earned a place in history for its backwards energy policy. They have been single-minded in their drive to get more drilling into more places, no matter how many people or parks stand in the way. To date, the administration has offered more than 18.3 million acres of public land for drilling, larger than the entire state of West Virginia.”

Statement by Ulla Reeves, Advocacy Manager, Clean Air Program for National Parks Conservation Association:

“This administration has systematically weakened regulations for virtually every type of air pollution for industry. Protections against methane, ozone, and mercury air pollution were on the chopping block from the start, not to mention the Clean Power Plan that had set the US on a course to confronting a major source of climate pollution–carbon dioxide from coal plants. National parks should have the cleanest air in the world, but 96% of parks have significant air pollution problems.”

Statement by Chad Lord, Senior Director, Waters Program for National Parks Conservation Association:

“We need more protections for our waters than less. Instead of defending our waters, the President is removing protections for the lakes, rivers, and streams important to parks and outdoor recreation. And while we welcome the President following congressional leaders in supporting major landscapes like the Great Lakes and Everglades, it doesn’t offset the damage he’s done to our waterways.”

Statement by John Garder, Senior Director, Budget and Appropriations for National Parks Conservation Association:

“The President’s speech is tone deaf to the real impacts that this administration is imposing on our public lands, especially when it comes to funding for America’s national parks and their natural resources. Just last week, the administration siphoned visitor fees away from overdue park repairs and other projects that enhance the visitor experience, all to pay for an unnecessarily expensive event on the Mall. Environmental leadership requires prioritizing investments in our environment. Instead, this administration has repeatedly called for deep spending cuts, putting fragile ecosystems, park rangers and crumbling park infrastructure at even greater risk.

Statement by Christina Hazard, Associate Director of Government Affairs for National Parks Conservation Association:

“Through a series of rollbacks and rewrites of commonsense environmental regulations, the Trump administration has taken aim at park wildlife ranging from Yellowstone grizzlies to Denali wolves.”

“Threatened and endangered fish, wildlife and plants in our national parks already face habitat changes and impacts of a climate crisis that is accelerating each year. Instead of working to better connect and safeguard ecosystems and wildlife as the climate changes, the Trump administration is dismantling protections for wildlife and their habitats and food sources.


About National Parks Conservation Association: For 100 years, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 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

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