Torturing the Park System?
Since last August I've been touching on a variety of pressing issues that, in my opinion and the opinions of many others, are detrimental to not just the National Park Service but to the national park system.
There was the aborted overhauling of the NPS's Management Policies, which serve as a management handbook for park superintendents to use in reaching on-the-ground decisions; the ongoing debate over snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park; the contentious issue of whether personal watercraft belong in national park waters; higher fees in the parks; the threat of commercializing the parks; and on and on.
Art Allen, a retired NPS staffer with a distinguished career that led him across the country to various park positions, recently began writing his own blog for Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility and in his latest post he did a marvelous job of pulling all these various issues together for an incredible perspective on how the Bush administration is trying to change the NPS and the park system.
Here's his opening salvo:
"Whenever an Administration comes to power that possesses a philosophy totally at odds with an Agency’s purpose, mission, and traditions, you can expect fireworks. Since January 2001, the Interior Department has been transformed from a department of professionals concerned about the long-term preservation and sustained use of our nation’s resources to a cadre of politically-driven corporate puppets whose mission is to turn over America’s resources to the private business interests and the “wreckreation” movement."
This is a must-read post for anyone concerned about the future of our national parks.