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“We applaud today’s historic confirmation of Deb Haaland as the new Secretary of the Interior. We look forward to having a public lands champion in the office and will work to support her efforts to combat the challenges facing our national parks and public lands,” said Phil Francis, Chair of the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks.

“There is much to be done to restore the National Park Service (NPS) to the proud agency it has been for over a century and to allow our national parks to be able to fulfill the mission set by Congress so that these nationally significant natural, historic, and cultural resources can continue to be enjoyed by millions of visitors each year.

Both the Interior Department and the NPS will have to undo many actions taken over the past four years, while at the same time advancing a progressive agenda. We must ensure that our national parks have adequate funding and staffing. We must use sound science in protecting our resources, defend our parks from oil and gas leasing and development, welcome diverse public participation, and uphold the spirit of the Great American Outdoors Act by ensuring a fair and transparent process in addressing the deferred maintenance needs at parks and allocating funds from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to the highest-priority land acquisition needs.

We urge Secretary Haaland to move quickly to nominate a director of the National Park Service and ensure the further restoration of effective leadership within the NPS by placing a high priority on filling each of the vacant senior leadership positions

“We celebrate this positive step forward today and look forward to working with Secretary Haaland to protect our national parks and public lands.”


The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks represents over 1,900 current, former, and retired employees and volunteers of the National Park Service, with over 40,000 collective years of stewardship of America’s most precious natural and cultural resources. Recognized as the Voices of Experience, the Coalition educates, speaks, and acts for the preservation and protection of the National Park System, and mission-related programs of the National Park Service. More information can be found at