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“As we find out more about President Trump’s plans for the National Mall on the Fourth of July, there is more and more reason to be alarmed about this administration’s view of our National Park System. Recent reporting in the Washington Post indicates that $2.5 million in National Park entrance fees have been diverted to help pay for this event – money that should be going to support and improve the experience that Americans have in visiting our National Parks. I believe that this is clearly a breach of trust with the 300 million plus visitors who enjoy their national parks each year. For years the NPS has assured paying visitors that their fees would be used to protect and maintain their parks and that is particularly important now as the parks have not been able to maintain the parks due to lean budgets. The fee monies do not represent some type of slush fund to pay for political expediency. This is outrageous.”

“Fourth of July weekend should be a moment for our National Park System to shine as American’s discover our nation’s public lands and enjoy celebrating our country’s Independence in its iconic landscapes. It is unfortunate that the President has taken this weekend to divert funding away from protecting those landscapes and welcoming those American families to our parks in favor of his own political events.”

Watch – CPANP Chair Appears on CNN