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HOME - Land management American Rec v. American People
American Rec v. American People
Written by Scott Silver
Wednesday, 26 July 2006
The American Recreation Coalition are not happy campers. Last year they came within an inch of re-writing the mission of the National Park System when Paul Hoffman introduced their preferred version for new NPS Management Policies. Fortunately, the American people refused to go along, and the ARC was handed a major setback.
As you will see below, American Recreation Coalition is now prepared to fight the American People.
Mind you, the American Recreation Coalition has been fighting the American People for over two decades. Unfortunately, until recently, the American People just never had a clue what the ARC was doing to them.
PS... additional information is available on ARC's website at http://www.funoutdoors.com/node/view/1611
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FEDERAL PARKS & RECREATION
VOLUME 24 NUMBER 14
JULY 21, 2006
REC INDUSTRY FIGHTS BACK AGAINST NPS DRAFT POLICY
The recreation industry is protesting in no uncertain terms the newest
draft (June 19) of a National Park Service management policy.
Industry officials complain that the latest iteration, known as the
2006 draft, would return the agency to a management policy the Clinton
administration published in 2001. They prefer a draft policy the Park
Service prepared on Oct. 18, 2005.
"Our review of the 2006 draft compared to 2005 indicates a return now
to the radical elements of the Babbitt-Clinton (draft of 2001) that we
find objectionable," said Bill Horn, a former top Interior Department
official in the Reagan administration and leader of pro-use forces on
the issue. Horn, an attorney for the law firm Birch, Horton, Bittner
and Cherot, is preparing comments for the recreation industry on the
On a parallel track the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) offered
similar complaints in comments it submitted to NPS July 14. The
coalition asked NPS to balance use with protection. "We urge that the
document be revised to put 'enjoyment' - park visitor experiences - in
a positive context and as a primary objective, giving development of
visitor services and facilities equal standing to conservation," said
The coalition said the Park Service should revise its management
policies on a regular schedule. "Changes in laws, regulations and
knowledge will occur and must be considered by the agency as impetus
for modified Management Policies," said ARC in comments submitted by
coalition president Derrick Crandall.
When the Interior Department released the new draft June 19 it gave the
impression it would favor protection over use, much in line with the
2001 Clinton policy. Secretary of Interior Dirk Kempthorne said
famously at the time, "When there is a conflict between conserving
resources unimpaired for future generations and the use of those
resources, conservation will be predominant. That is the heart of
these policies and the lifeblood of our Nation's commitment to care for
these special places and provide for their enjoyment."
The new draft supposedly reverses many of the provisions in a draft
policy prepared last September by Paul Hoffman, then deputy assistant
secretary of Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, and a second
draft of Oct. 18, 2005, prepared by NPS.
Critics such as the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) and
the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees charged that the two
2005 drafts tilted too much toward damaging visitation.
The 2006 draft has apparently mollified NPCA and the retirees. Said
NPCA when the latest version came out, "The draft document released
today for internal agency review appears to reaffirm the
park-protective emphasis of the current policies. Language that
confirms the National Park Service's over-arching predominant mission
of long-term preservation has been maintained, as well as protections
for park air quality, wilderness, natural quiet, and other resources."
The recreation industry is fighting back, using input from Steve
Martin, deputy NPS director and lead architect of the proposal to argue
against an 'austere' protection policy. He reportedly told industry,
"Our mission is one of protection and providing enjoyment and use, not
one or the other. The only truth to the accounts (in the press) is
that when we are faced with a conflict that cannot be managed, and use
will cause impairment, we will choose protection so that the area
involved can serve future generations."
In addition Martin submitted a memorandum June 21 to Kempthorne that
explicitly said the draft, if adopted, would not affect snowmobile use
in Yellowstone National Park. "According to the draft Management
Policies, all current laws, regulation and Executive Orders that deal
with snowmobiles remain in effect," said Martin. "Snowmobiling will
continue in the 47 parks where it is now occurring providing it is not
causing impairment of park resources."
Horn offered two examples of his objections to the latest draft. Of
conflict resolution he said, "The appropriate uses section of the 2001
policy tells a superintendent that when there is a conflict he is to
close the park first and them manage. The 2005 draft tells him to
manage first and then if that doesn't work to go to closure. The 2006
draft in a half-dozen cases goes almost verbatim to the Clinton
policy. It doesn't make sense to close a park before the park attempts
to resolve the conflict."
Of soundscape restoration Horn said, "The 2001 policy directs a
superintendent to restore silence wherever possible and it defines
degradation as human-caused. The 2005 draft directs the restoration of
the soundscape whenever practicable. Under the 2001 draft it would be
possible to restore silence in Yellowstone by keeping all cars out of
the park. This has enormous implications."
Last Updated ( Thursday, 21 September 2006 )
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