The campaigns are over, the results are in, and it’s time to consider what the 2008 elections portend for the National Park System. We highlight several foregone conclusions, make a couple of fearless forecasts, and invite you, the readers, to share your prognostications.
Plight of the Parks
Bush Administration Poised to Sell Oil and Gas Leases Around Dinosaur National Monument, Arches and Canyonlands National Parks
How much is too much? When the oil and gas industry in Utah has nearly 3,500 drilling permits in hand, but which have not been acted upon, why is the Bush administration selling them more, particularly in sensitive areas around national parks and monuments?GAO-Drilling Report.pdf
With the days of the Bush administration vanishing more quickly than the fall colors, what's in store for the next administration in terms of national park issues? Quite a bit, actually. The real question is whether they'll get tackled.
Updated: Bush Administration: "A Legacy of Failure for Our Public Lands," Claims Congressman Grijalva
During the past eight years the Bush administration has "pushed a concerted strategy of reducing the protections for our public lands, parks, and forests, and opening up these lands for every type of private, commercial and extractive industry possible." So says Congressman Raul Grijalva.Grijalva_Public_Lands_Report.pdf
With the Bush administration and Congress looking to one-up each other with economic stimuli, perhaps a little love could be shown to the National Park System. Lord knows it could use some.
After eight years of highly questionable management of public lands by the Bush administration, the next administration will face myriad environmental issues when it takes office in January. But how will it respond?
Survey Predicts Change in National Park Gun Regulations Will Lead to Wildlife Shootings, Management Problems
A survey stemming from the Bush administration's plan to allow concealed carry of guns in national parks and national wildlife refuges predicts the result will be more wildlife shootings and management problems.
Interior Officials Planning To Make It Easier for Mountain Bikers to Gain Backcountry Access in Parks
Three years after the International Mountain Bicycling Association said it simply wanted mountain bike access to dirt roads in national parks, Interior Department officials are said to be working to make it easier for the bikers to gain access to backcountry trails.
Imagine Yosemite National Park without Yosemite Fall. Or Glacier National Park without glaciers. Or Old Faithful becoming less faithful. Across the National Park System, the effects of climate change could be quite dramatic.sap4-4-final-report-Ch4-Parks.pdf
There arguably is no national park that better showcases geology than Yosemite National Park. Sure, Arches National Park offers more arches in one place than anywhere else on the planet, and Grand Canyon National Park has that incredible gouge. But stand before Half Dome or El Capitan and you can't help but marvel.