After 35 years of Federal protection, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) has issued a proposed rule to remove the Greater Yellowstone population of grizzly bears from the List of Endangered and Threatened Wildlife. If “delisting” occurs, the surrounding states will classify grizzly bears as game animals, which will allow trophy hunting of grizzlies immediately adjacent to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Click “Read More” to see our comments to FWS.
In November 2015, NPS issued an environmental assessment (EA) for a controversial plan that would allow an oil company to conduct an oil and gas survey at Big Cypress National Preserve using massive “Vibroseis” trucks. The vehicles, weighing 61,700 pounds each, would travel across the Preserve’s extensive wetlands, creating over 500 miles of new off-road vehicle tracks, including in some areas deemed eligible as wilderness. Now, less than four months after the 45-day public comment closed on that EA, NPS has issued a new (revised) EA and allowed only two weeks for public comment. Click “Read More” to see our full comments.
The Coalition has voiced concerns about an energy company’s plans to convert two abandoned open pit mines into a massive “pumped storage” hydroelectric energy facility on 2,500 acres near Joshua Tree National Park. The project would draw 28,000 acre-feet of water – enough to supply 40,000 homes for a year – from the Chuckwalla Valley aquifer, likely causing adverse impacts in the park. Click “Read More” to see our letter to California Congressman Raul Ruiz.
The Coalition has joined other national park advocacy groups in praising the recent U.S.-Canada joint statement on climate, energy, and arctic leadership, which includes plans for the U.S. EPA to begin developing regulations for methane emissions from existing oil and gas sources. Click “Read More” to see our letter to President Obama.
Citing strong public opposition to a proposed commercial development near the southern boundary of Grand Canyon National Park, the Kaibab National Forest Supervisor recently announced her decision to deny a road easement request that would have enabled the massive construction project. Click “Read More” to learn about the Coalition’s involvement in this issue.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2015 included a rider that required NPS to consider a variety of changes to the 2012 final rule for off-road vehicle (ORV) management at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. NPS has published an environmental assess (EA) describing the proposed changes, all of which favor increased ORV access at the Seashore. Click “Read More” to see the Coalition’s comments on the EA.
The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks is announcing the establishment of a Park Institute of America. The institute is a collaboration with Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and will be located on Duke’s campus in Durham, North Carolina. The goal of the Institute is to engage in broad conversations about the importance of parks and protected areas as a vital component of society. The Institute will advocate for parks and other important natural and historic places through public education and will make practical recommendations to advance public policy.
Recent management plans at Big Cypress have mischaracterized the Preserve’s legislative mandate and shortchanged the amount of eligible wilderness in the 1988 Addition to the Preserve. A proposed new backcountry access plan and wilderness study (plan/study) for the original Preserve appears to be headed toward the same shortcomings. Click “Read More” to see the Coalition’s comments on the preliminary alternatives newsletter for the plan/study.
The Coalition has joined forces with conservation and historic preservation groups to support legislation in the Virginia House of Delegates that would better protect historic resources by strengthening the State’s requirements related to approval of new high voltage transmission lines. Click “Read More” to see our joint letter to the Chair of the Special Subcommittee on Energy.
Current law requires specific Congressional approval before an oil or gas pipeline can be built through any unit of the National Park System. However, a proposed amendment to an energy bill being considered in the U.S. Senate would eliminate this requirement and promote the construction of natural gas pipelines through parks. The Coalition and other conservation groups strongly oppose the pipelines-through-parks amendment. Click “Read More” to see our joint letter to members of the U.S. Senate.