Yosemite National Park
Sierra Sun Times file photo
March 12, 2019 - The Trump Administration’s FY 2020 budget proposes huge cuts across the federal government. It calls for a 14.9% cut to the National Park Service budget, when compared to the budget passed by Congress for FY19. This budget would greatly undermine the ability of the National Park Service to ensure that our precious natural and cultural resources are protected and preserved. It also virtually eliminates the Land and Water Conservation Fund, one of America’s best conservation programs that was just permanently reauthorized by Congress with broad bipartisan backing.
Phil Francis, Chair of The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks, issued the following statement:
“The Trump administration’s proposed budget is appalling. It represents an enormous threat to the protection and preservation of our national parks and public lands. National parks are suffering from significant reductions in staffing due to decreased annual appropriations in the past decade. Effectively managing the high visitation at our parks is proving more and more challenging with funding that has not kept up with the National Park Service’s costs. And, the backlog of deferred maintenance projects continues to grow.
Over the past 10 years, the NPS budget has lost 17% when adjusted for inflation. Additional cuts would be devastating and would put park resources, park visitors, and park employees at greater risk.
President Trump’s budget will deal a devastating blow to the National Park Service, at a time when the agency is still struggling to recover its footing and catch up on lost work and planning due to the recent government shutdown. From the drastic cut to National Heritage Areas to the waste of money for reorganization, this isn’t about making small cuts that will go unnoticed, it’s about drastic cuts that will be inconsistent with protecting America’s special places and programs. It’s irresponsible.
The de-funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund shows this Administration disdain for parks, public lands, and the American people who enjoy them. A mere few weeks ago, Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt was touting his support for LWCF and public lands in the broadly bipartisan legislation that easily passed Congress. But today’s budget tells a starkly different story.
This Administration does not appear to be dealing in reality. We can only hope that Congress will stand up to this Administration and do the right thing, to ensure our parks and public lands are protected for the enjoyment of future generations.”
The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks is a reliable, respected, and effective advocate for achievement of the mission and goals of the National Park Service. Recognized as the Voices of Experience, CPANP studies, educates, speaks, and acts for the preservation and protection of the National Park System, and mission-related programs of the National Park Service. CPANP represents over 1,600 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. More information can be found at https://protectnps.org.
Source: The Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks