NPCA and its supporters stay vigilant against threats to national park rivers after losing a battle over a development project in Minnesota.
Late last month, thousands of NPCA’s supporters took action to protect the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, a unit of our National Park System, from a massive freeway-style bridge project that the National Park Service determined would cause irreparable harm to the river. We thank everyone who stood up for this national park.
Unfortunately, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to exempt the $700 million mega-bridge over the St. Croix River from the protections of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This action not only harms the St. Croix, but sets a terrible precedent that threatens more than 200 rivers across the nation that are also protected by the act. This fiscally irresponsible vote is especially troubling because it comes at a time when national parks and other important programs face funding cuts.
While the fight may be over in Minnesota, as this project moves forward, NPCA will stay vigilant in its efforts to protect our national parks from developments that threaten the use and enjoyment of these national treasures. We hope that this exemption does not result in other threats to Wild and Scenic Rivers across the country, and we will remain committed to upholding the act elsewhere.
While we don’t always win every fight, NPCA cannot be successful without the efforts of supporters who take the time to make their voices heard in Congress. Having so many voices behind us inspires us to continue protecting these important places.
About the author
Christine R. Goepfert Associate Director, Midwest Region, Midwest
Chris is the Associate Director for NPCA's Minnesota Field Office in St. Paul, MN.