U.S laws and administration concerning the protection of public lands and national parks have, in recent years, suffered major policy changes and cutbacks. Already vulnerable parks are absorbing a surfeit of budget cuts and staff deductions while long-established conservation policies and regulations are suffering an onslaught of repeals. If further attention is not focused on the rapidly declining state of the national park and public lands issue, there will be an onset of irreparable consequences. The protection of public lands and national parks in the U.
S. is an integral responsibility of the government. Trump’s proposed slashes of national parks/public lands place Americans in a threatening position. The consequences are innumerable consisting of; the severe loss of Thousands of jobs and facilities, the deterioration of park structures and natural monuments, the imperiling of cultural resources, funding loss of important projects, and the decrease in America’s environmental health. To combat these impacts, withstanding environmental legislation must remain and recent/current/newly enacted legislation must be repealed or barred.
An immense quantity of recently introduced policies has already begun to affect America’s Parks and Public lands. Beginning in January of 2017, a hiring freeze on National Park Service staff created an impactful toll on the upkeep and health of the national parks. Ensuing the recent uptake of popularity, the parks have been seeing attendance rates higher than ever.
The park’s staff are attempting to maintain and manage the health and safety of the parks. This goal is met with great difficulty as a result of the increasing staff reductions.
The freeze, which lasted until mid-April, only furthered the park’s already tenuous grasp on control. National parks already have ten percent fewer rangers and staff as compared to a mere two years prior. This reduction of the staff combined with the park’s uptake in popularity poses major risks to the park’s health and the health of visitors. Not only does the decrease in the park’s health threaten the environmental health of the country (air and water quality will decrease), but the visitor’s health may be at risk due to many factors the stressed park staff can no longer attend to. The decrease in the physical landmass of the National park and public lands too have had a plethora of negative consequences. With this decrease in flora, the quality of the U.S.’s air becomes less sanitary. Air pollution will become far worse due to the reduction of plants able to filter pollutants from the air. This will ultimately create a synergistic effect; Land is taken for factory use, therefore, there are fewer plants to filter the air, so more chemicals are being produced and fewer plants to filter these chemicals. Furthermore, the U.S. re science-basedenue created by tourism will decrease. As the health of the parks decreases so will the flora and fauna content. Without the draw of the parks’ beauty and resources, there will no longer be a constant stream of tourism. This will cause both a decrease in jobs and the overall U.S. economy. Several recently enacted executive orders and new regulations (Cadiz Inc. groundwater mining proposal ₃) have compromised the health and safety of a large quantity of parkland and resources. The order to review the Clean Water Rule₁ allows for the abuse of U.S. water by large corporations and government organizations.
This poses a threat to the safety of water utilized by U.S. citizens and companies. As the standard for the treatment of water decreases so do the regulations surrounding the use of said water domestically. Along similar lines, The Energy Independence ₂ executive order called for: (₅) In the past there have been numerous attempts to stabilize the deteriorating safety and health of U.S. public lands/national parks. A large one is the Director’s order 100 ₄, which, directed parks to use science based comprehensive management practices to fight climate change, loss of biodiversity, the advent of invasive species, pollution, and a multitude of other threats. There exists a constant fluctuation of policy concerning the protection of national parks and public lands, usually, dependent upon the administration in place. The notable policy includes the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916, General Authorities Act of 1970, Antiquities Act of 1906, and Executive order NO. 6166 ₆ and Executive order NO. 622based venue8 ₇. All of these acts centered on consolidating power to the national parks and creating regulations and standards that would protect them against urban development and government/corporation mistreatment. The General Authorities Act of 1970 allowed for the parks to be managed together as a whole rather than in separate pieces which was a slight amendment to the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916 which called for the conservation of the U.S.’s natural scenery, historic objects, and wildlife. Antiquities Act of 1906 ₉ was signed into law in order to legally protect the cultural and natural resources of the United States.
This issue cannot be ignored. With the advent of executive orders such as the ones previously mentioned, the U.S. stands at the forefront of a flood of policy-related consequences. An importance has been placed on financial worries above environmental safety. The consequences are innumerable consisting of; the severe loss of Thousands of jobs and facilities, the deterioration of park structures and natural monuments, the imperiling of cultural resources, funding loss of important projects, and the decrease of America’s environmental health To combat this issue there are a host of solutions that can immediately affect change. Moving forward, the U.S. government should respond to this issue with “stagnant change.” All prior policies created to protect the U.S. lands and parks should be left untouched. There should be a freeze on all future and current delegation concerning public lands. Each new proposal, and current ones, need to be thoroughly examined to determine their potential impact on the national parks/public lands. All past regulations should be exempt from repeal as the parks and lands stand on tenuous grounds. Research must be conducted on the impact current policy has had on the lands, and the best ways to combat these effects before further damage can ensue. All implemented policies, under the Trump administration, beginning in the 2016 administration shift, should be repealed as soon as possible to limit concurring damages. Companies and private businesses need to have less say and leverage concerning environmental policy and laws.
These corporations, such as Cadiz Inc., (see footnote ₃) have been allowed to effect change in conservation policy for their benefit which has only had detrimental effects on the U.S.’s environmental health. To see results and to minimize current and future damage, there must be immediate action. Whether there is a gradual implementation of the proposed solution or an immediate usage, all changes can help to staunch the damage. Unless there is action, the U.S. will have to face the consequences of its actions. This is an issue that reaches far beyond the federal government. This affects every individual U.S. citizen, and, therefore, it deserves the government’s utmost attention.