During the NPS’s centennial year, we should seize upon every opportunity to ensure that Southwest Colorado’s national parks and monuments remain protected into the next century. One such opportunity would be for the Bureau of Land Management to prepare a master leasing plan to guide proposed oil and gas leasing near these special places. Click “Read More” to see an Op-Ed by Coalition member Jane Anderson that was published in the Durango Herald on April 16, 2016.
Coalition Chair Maureen Finnerty’s powerful op-ed decrying a proposal to cripple the Antiquities Act appeared in The Hill, a top US political website read daily by the White House, elected officials, lobbyists and analysts. Click ”Read More” to read the op-ed.
Placed against this expansive vision, the existing national park system is incomplete. That judgment also applies to the units that comprise the current U. S. conservation estate; forests, refuges, monuments, state parks, land trusts, etc. The international standard for conservation of terrestrial and inland waters is 17 %. A recent estimate puts the current U.S. total at 7%. The maritime and coastal area standard of 10% is even further from being achieved.
There is no denying that many of America’s national parks and historic places are in disrepair today or offering shortened visitor hours, fewer interpretive guides, and other services that should make a visit to one of our national crown jewels a special experience. This is a tragedy, but it is no reason to give up on preserving more of what makes America unique.
“With the LWCF expiring in less than 100 days, Congress must act to ensure that future generations have access to healthy outdoor recreation resources. Debate in Congress raises fears that it will fail to continue this valuable program. Congress is failing to demonstrate the kind of overwhelming bipartisan support for conservation and recreation that led to the creation of the Fund 50 years ago and the protection of so many important areas throughout the nation. It’s time for Congress to reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.”
A NPS Retiree Speaks Up – My earliest memories are of my mother, sitting with my siblings and myself at vista points in Zion or Bryce, where she encouraged us to listen to the sounds of silence — blowing winds, a bird’s call or a rock falling in the distance. She would point out how far we could see and how clear the air was. She often commented how the parks hadn’t changed much from when she was young and that was why national parks were established. She explained they were different from other protected areas because their purpose was to not only conserve the natural and cultural resources but to protect the natural processes as well.
We believe that this common-sense clean water rule provides ecological, recreational and economic benefits to downstream national parks and communities. With Clean Water Act protections, visitors can safely drink, fish, swim and play in park waterways. Plants and wildlife can depend on healthy streams.