#National Parks
New E-Bike Policy In National Parks Causing Major Confusion

New E-Bike Policy In National Parks Causing Major Confusion

The Washington Post reported that the Trump Administration is having difficulty implementing a policy change it made back in August to allow e-bikes on federal lands — there is confusion regarding whether e-bikes should be allowed on non-motorized trails.

Why This Matters:  The Trump Administration argues that it is just following the lead of many states and wanted to allow e-bikes as a way to increase access to parks and recreational lands.  But there is a downside — if e-bikes are allowed in the backcountry, it will fundamentally change the experience of these wild and natural places.  And for now, the Administration has lifted the restrictions on e-bikes immediately without putting a new policy regarding their use in place, leaving everyone in limbo.

 

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Trump Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee Recommends Privatizing Campgrounds

Trump Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee Recommends Privatizing Campgrounds

The Hill reports that an advisory committee recommended to Interior Secretary David Bernhardt that he should privatize campgrounds within national parks, cut benefits for senior visitors, and allow food trucks into Parks as a way to bring increase money coming into the Parks system, according to the panel’s memo.

Why This Matters:  This recommendation is likely to be extremely divisive — with environmental groups and advocates for seniors arguing that this is likely to hurt low and middle-income Americans and benefit the President’s rich benefactors. 

 

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Governor Bullock Rolls Out A Plan for Public Lands

Governor Bullock Rolls Out A Plan for Public Lands

Last Friday, in the midst of a snowstorm that dumped up to four feet of snow in some areas of Montana, Governor Steve Bullock announced the second major policy proposal of his Presidential campaign, a policy on public lands management and ownership.  Bullock’s plan has three main principles:  (1) tackling climate change; (2) honoring our heritage of public land ownership by restoring and increasing public lands; and (3) making sure that all Americans get a fair shot at enjoying the opportunities that public lands provide.

Why This Matters:  As a western governor whose state consists of some of the nation’s most beloved and beautiful national parks, Bullock is in a good position to speak to the issue of whether the federal government should own and should conserve (rather than develop) more land.

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Interview of the Week: Dr. Enric Sala, Explorer In Residence, National Geographic Society

Interview of the Week: Dr. Enric Sala, Explorer In Residence, National Geographic Society

Dr. Sala leads the Society’s efforts to save the last wild places on the planet for future generations to enjoy. ODP: You have said that it is now more important than ever for people to live in balance with nature. Why? ES: The loss of ecosystems that we have seen in certain regions is happening […]

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Honor Their Service: Visit a National Battlefield or War Memorial

Honor Their Service: Visit a National Battlefield or War Memorial

The National Park Service preserves more than one hundred battlefields, military parks, and historic sites across the country that honor the service of American veterans from nearly every war. 

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FDR’s New Deal Was Green

FDR’s New Deal Was Green

As we contemplate the sweeping Green New Deal resolution recently introduced, which promises that “public lands, waters, and oceans are protected” and that all Americans have “access to nature,” we should look back at the very green legacy of  FDR’s New Deal.  As part of historic first 100 days legislation, Roosevelt proposed the Emergency Conservation Work (EWC) Act, more commonly known as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to put to work unemployed young men in a peacetime “army” and “send them into battle” against destruction and erosion of our country’s natural resources. 

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FDR’s Expansion of National Parks

FDR’s Expansion of National Parks

As part of the New Deal, President Franklin Roosevelt greatly expanded the National Park Service and its mission to include history and culture as well as nature and re-organized it for an expanded role in preserving our national treasures. 

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One cool thing: presidents enjoying public lands

One cool thing: presidents enjoying public lands

  Check out these great shots of former presidents enjoying our national parks. Our public lands are our national treasures!

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Protecting Roosevelt’s legacy from climate change

As you’ve read above, the creation of our national parks and public lands was a serious feat but ensuring their health and vibrancy over the long term requires a sustained effort. While the Trump administration has moved to open up public lands to oil and gas drilling and logging, they’re also refused to acknowledge climate […]

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Shutdown Leaves National Parks a Mess

Shutdown Leaves National Parks a Mess

As of last Friday, the government shutdown has gone on for 13 days, with no end in sight. The shutdown has meant that national parks have been severely understaffed as trash and restroom waste have been allowed to pile up. As the Washington Post explained, no one is at the gate. No one is collecting a fee. The visitor centers are closed. There are some law enforcement and emergency personnel on site, but certainly nothing as standard as a park ranger who can answer a question.

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