Press Release Oct 8, 2015

Congressional Committee Allows Dangerous Yellowstone and Grand Teton Legislation to Float Through

Statement by Stephanie Adams, Yellowstone Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association

“The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is disappointed that the House Committee on Natural Resources today chose to advance legislation that stands to have far-reaching, negative impacts on Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks, two of our country’s crown jewels. The Yellowstone and Grand Teton Paddling Act would force the National Park Service to open up 450 miles of waterways in these parks without study or public comment. As written, this legislation could aid the spread of invasive aquatic species, damage native trout habitat, and serve to disrupt prime habitat for endangered grizzly bears.

“The legislation would also require the National Park Service to allocate already sparse funds and time from other priority programs to study the impacts of paddling on up to 6,500 additional miles of rivers and streams—nearly two and a half times the length of the entire Mississippi River. Current cost estimates for a study of this scope is in the millions.

“NPCA is supportive of boating and paddling opportunities within our national parks – it’s a great way to enjoy them. Yellowstone National Park currently provides boating access to 163 of its 168 lakes. And in Grand Teton National Park, 60,000 visitors each year float the 26-mile stretch of the Snake River within park boundaries. We hope that Congress will not move this problematic legislation forward.”

Click here to view an amendment to the bill approved by the committee.

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About 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 one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.