Press Release Apr 22, 2020

Trump Administration Signals To Reopen National Parks While Health Concerns Remain

"Until it is completely safe to reopen, national parks must remain closed for the safety of park staff, visitors and communities." -- Theresa Pierno

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

“We understand how important national parks and their employees are to America. But the President’s call today to reopen national parks is dangerous. At this time, park staff cannot protect their health, the health of the visitors, or the resources they manage. We’ve heard from park staff that they don’t have the proper protective equipment and have no indication any is coming to them. And at many of our national parks, social distancing has already proven to be nearly impossible. It’s critical that until it’s safe, parks already closed should remain so. And those that have not yet closed should be allowed to do so immediately.

“For weeks, despite pleas from national park staff and local communities, Secretary Bernhardt refused to close some of our most iconic parks like the Grand Canyon and Zion. Thousands of visitors flocked to national parks seeking respite, but were unable to properly practice social distancing, putting themselves and park staff in danger. Until it is completely safe to reopen, national parks must remain closed for the safety of park staff, visitors and communities.”


About The 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 nearly 1.4 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

Read more from NPCA

  • Blog Post

    Latinos Are Critical to the Environmental Movement

    Jul 2023 | By Sally Garcia

    Latino Conservation Week highlights the contributions of Latinos in caring for the environment, while encouraging the community’s culture of stewardship. Here’s how NPCA supports Latino engagement every day. 

  • Blog Post

    Visiting Rocky Mountain at Peak Season? Not a Problem.

    Jul 2023 | By Megan Tran

    An NPCA intern shares her experiences navigating this highly visited park's reservation system — and offers some insights to help make your visit just as successful.  

  • Blog Post

    7 for 7: How NPCA Is Improving Your Next Visit to Stonewall

    Jun 2023 | By Shira Michaeli, Timothy Leonard

    Stonewall National Monument in New York City was established seven years ago. NPCA is leading improvements at the site in seven ways — including the addition of a visitor center.