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. 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 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 protecting 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 EC or Coalition members?
- Do partner organizations have paid staff or volunteers who can assist with research, drafting appropriate comments 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?