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Fort McHenry Should Not Be Used For Political Gain

Vice President Mike Pence will speak at the Republican National Convention on Wednesday from Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. The Maryland Republican Party reportedly secured a special use permit to use the national park site for the Vice President’s political event.

The Coalition previously sent a letter to National Park Service Acting Director Margaret Everson expressing concerns about the Trump Campaign’s and the Republican National Committee’s plans to hold upcoming partisan political campaign events in units of the National Park System.

In a letter sent today, the Coalition expresses great concern regarding the proper care and management of the historic resources at Fort McHenry.

Phil Francis, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, issued the following statement regarding the Vice President’s Upcoming Speech:

“It is relatively rare, if not unprecedented, for the National Park Service (NPS) to use parks as staging areas for partisan political campaign events. We are very concerned about the appropriateness of such use.

National parks are meant to be enjoyed by all Americans, regardless of party affiliation or politics. It is inappropriate for the NPS to permit partisan political campaign events to be conducted in parks. There are other, far more appropriate venues for such activities that would not be in potential conflict with NPS regulations and policies.

Beyond the question of appropriate use, we are hearing reports of resource damage at the national monument. And if there will be an audience in attendance, as reports suggest, than we have yet another example of this administration placing national park employees and visitors at risk of contracting COVID-19.

We urge the National Park Service to investigate reports of damage and to update its current policies and procedures to avoid compromising not only our irreplaceable resources but the human health and safety.”


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