"DOI's decision to close national parks is the only way to ensure the safety of park visitors and protection of our most treasured resources." - Theresa Pierno, NPCA's President and CEO
Washington, DC – Today, just one day ahead of a very probable shutdown, the Department of the Interior has released its shutdown contingency plan for national parks across the country. The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) supports the Interior’s decision to close parks, which is the best way to keep our parks resources and visitors safe in the event of a shutdown.
So that all parks can remain open and adequately staffed to keep visitors safe and irreplaceable resources protected, Congress must quickly pass a continuing resolution or a funding bill that values our national parks and surrounding communities, not the damaging cuts proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Statement by Theresa Pierno, President and CEO for the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA):
“A government shutdown means thousands of national park staff will be furloughed. The Interior Department’s decision to close national parks is the only way to ensure the safety of park visitors and protection of our most treasured resources.
“The Interior’s guidance to leave areas of some national parks like campgrounds open, with only minimal staff, is concerning. We saw a similar scenario play out just a few years ago, resulting in Joshua Trees being cut down, park buildings vandalized, trash piled up and visitor safety jeopardized. We can’t allow this to happen again.
“The bottom line is that our parks and communities should not be put in this situation in the first place. Congress must come to an agreement to keep the government open and our parks adequately funded and staffed. If Congress is unable to do its job and fund our government, the National Park Service must do what’s necessary to protect our national parks and close their gates.”
About the National Parks Conservation Association: Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than 1.5 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
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