Below is the letter submitted to the National Park Service on behalf of Campfire Adventure Co. disagreeing with their proposal.
November 2, 2017
To Whom it May Concern,
2017 has proven to be a treacherous year for this country in every way, shape, and form under the current administration and some members of Congress. Unfortunately, it’s becoming evident that the current leaders of our nation are threatening our public lands and waters each and every day (1). Since January 21, 2017, the administration has made multiple threats to our public lands and waters while also alienating our country from the rest of the world as other countries work towards protecting our planet from the current climate crisis.
On October 5, 2016, almost the entire world came together and signed on for The Paris Agreement, which was set forth by 188 countries that agreed to reduce their carbon emissions in order to prevent the rise of global temperatures (2). Then in June of 2017 the Trump administration officially announced the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement by 2020. Laughably, the administration’s reasoning was because the initiative is unfavorable to the U.S. because it, in their opinion, benefits rival economies more than ours along with potentially lowering our GDP.
However, while the administration pulls the U.S. out from The Paris Agreement, pushes the U.S. fossil fuel industry forward, and denies climate change entirely, there have been multiple natural disasters occurring all over our county. There have been destructive hurricanes damaging parts of Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and a vast majority of the Caribbean (3). Plus, let's not forget the most recent devastation with the unprecedented wildfires that engulfed over 220,000 acres in Santa Rosa, California. For reference, the island of Manhattan is roughly 14,528 acres, which means the area destroyed in Santa Rosa is nearly fifteen times the size of Manhattan. As all of these natural disasters continue to occur, the Trump administration continues to make decisions against the very land we live on. With the overwhelming evidence of climate change already well documented along with alternative energy being modernized, Trump still vows to revive the coal industry even when other sources of energy have been proven to be more efficient than coal.
On May 5, 2017, the Trump administration put twenty-seven national monuments on a list for review with almost all of the chosen monuments being in the western part of the U.S. Any national monument chosen from that list will either be reduced in size or be removed completely and be handed over for the states to manage, which would allow the land to be open to coal mining, oil drilling and mineral extraction (4). The taking away or reduction of these protected lands, when outdoor activity and attendance at national parks are at record highs, would be negligent. It would also be the first time in history a president would abolish a national monument (5).
Then there was the 2018 budget proposal that outlines a cut of 31% from the Environmental Protection Agency (E.P.A.), which translates to nearly $400 million taken away from the National Park Service’s (N.P.S.) annual budget. Before the cut was even proposed, the N.P.S. already has a $12 billion maintenance backlog as well as reducing the amount of staff in the parks over the past seven years (6). It’s even more shocking to know that the proposed budget would also be one of the largest cuts to the National Park Service since World War II (7). The 2018 budget for our public lands is appalling especially when the attendance at these parks and monuments continue to break records across the country (8).
With the record-breaking attendance happening at our national parks, it’s understandable to raise ticket prices over time; however, raising the price by over 100% is unacceptable while the National Park Service’s budget is drastically reduced. Congress shouldn’t be passing off a massive budget cut to only make the public lands less affordable to certain families (9). It begins to really emphasize how the Trump administration and certain members of Congress are further separating the class system in the country while attempting to slowly strip away our public land.
After laying out the current threats to our public land, it’s necessary to bring up an important question: will the rise in admission price and the possible decrease in visitor numbers jeopardize our national parks, similar to our national monuments currently being reviewed, by reducing their size or eliminating them entirely because they appear more valuable to sell off than to protect for current and future generations?
In hopes to stop further damage to our environment and public land from the current administration and some members of Congress, Campfire Adventure Co. strongly disagrees with the increase in the admission price to our national parks.
Campfire Adventure Co.
Comment period closes on November 24, 2017 at 11:59pm MST
If interested, read more in the link below on why it's critical for our federal government to fund and operate our public land instead of being managed by the states. An important read that relates directly to the national monuments currently being reviewed by the Trump administration.
Why You Don't Want the States Managing Public Land
By Wes Siler, Outside Magazine (November 2, 2017)
20% of the proceeds from each item is donated to help solve the current climate crisis and protect our public lands.
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