Press Release Sep 19, 2019

Trump Administration Silences National Park Service, Hindering Ability to Provide Expertise

This basic disregard for the Park Service’s mission could have major implications for all our national parks and public lands for years to come.

Washington, DC – In a memo circulated to park service staff, the Interior Department doubles down on its energy dominance agenda by deterring park staff from commenting on oil and gas leasing and other industry-led projects just outside parks, as first reported today by The Washington Post.

Over the last two years, the Trump administration has instituted policies to remove environmental reviews and continues to go to great lengths to minimize public input on energy projects. And now, the administration is moving to curtail expertise from agencies who manage national parks and public lands adjacent to lands where energy development projects are being proposed.

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

“From eliminating years’ of science-driven data from park planning to initiating an unnecessary and disruptive reorganization of the National Park Service, this guidance is just another way the Trump administration is actively working to silence park staff and their expertise.

“The administration is touting this guidance as a way to provide coordination and engagement between federal agencies, but in reality, this is nothing more than an intimidation tactic, deterring park experts on the front lines from expressing views that might contradict the administration’s aggressive pro-fossil fuels energy policy. This unprecedented memo will infringe on park staffs’ ability to provide expert comments on projects put forth by other agencies that could have damaging impacts on parks, hindering the Park Service from fulfilling their duties to protect park resources.

“People join the National Park Service because they feel called to uphold the mission – to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. This basic disregard for the Park Service’s mission could have major implications for all our national parks and public lands for years to come.”

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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 www.npca.org/100.