Generally, the Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks (Coalition) engages in issues that (1) have National Park System-wide implications, including proposed laws, national policies, and regulations, or (2) issues at the park level where outcomes may set precedent or long-term direction.
In addition, the Coalition may collaborate with other groups in commenting on park-specific issues or proposals that would impact park resources and values but may not rise to the level of Criteria 1 and 2 above.
When indicated, the Coalition will help support park managers who make tough decisions consistent with law and policy in the midst of especially challenging political and/or media attention.
Specifically, Coalition decisions to engage in an issue typically involve examination of at least some of the following questions:
- What is the threat to park values or park resources?
- Is there a reasonable chance that our engagement will make a difference in terms of the protection of park values and park resources?
- Do we have the capacity to make a “quality” response in a timely fashion? Is there sufficient expertise and willingness to take on an issue available among Executive Council (EC) or Coalition members?
- Do partner organizations have paid staff or volunteers who can assist with research, drafting appropriate comment and letters, etc? Would collaboration with other organizations on a response be efficient and effective in the particular situation under consideration?
- What form of engagement might be most effective, e.g., written comments or letters to appropriate leaders in NPS, DOI, Congress, etc., press statements, social media, legal action, meetings with NPS, partner organizations, elected officials, or others?
- What is the best time to engage? Is there a formal process (Congressional hearing, comment period, legal action, etc.) underway?
- What is the position of others, including Coalition membership, NPS, like-minded partner organizations, etc.?
- Is this an issue where the NPS, in our judgment, has made or seems poised to make the wrong decision?
- Is this an issue where NPS cannot speak for itself because of external forces?