Hoffman Rewrite of National Park Policies Threatens Americas Heritage

Hoffman Rewrite of National Park Policies Threatens Americas Heritage

Press Statement by Brent Blackwelder, President, Friends of the Earth
Thomas C. Kiernan, President, National Parks Conservation Association
Frances Beinecke, Executive Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
William H Meadows, President, The Wilderness Society

Conservation Groups Urge Department of Interior to Listen to Park Service Professionals As reported in the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times today, Paul Hoffman, deputy assistant secretary of the Department of Interior for fish and wildlife and parks, has secretly rewritten the policies that protect America’s national parks. His proposal would harm national parks from Gettysburg to Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon, and compromise visitors’ experiences. A statement by Friends of the Earth, the National Parks Conservation Association, Natural Resources Defense Council, and The Wilderness Society follows:   

“The depth of concern expressed to us by men and women currently serving in the National Park Service and by those who have dedicated much of their professional lives to stewardship of the national parks is without precedent. The American people are proud of their national parks and place enormous value on their health and natural condition.”  

“As watchdog organizations, we share the concerns expressed by park professionals that these policy revisions depart radically from the fundamental stewardship ethic that has preserved our national parks from their beginning. We urge the Department of Interior to immediately abandon this rewrite, heeding the advice of National Park Service professionals who have effectively managed our heritage for decades.”

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Contact: Chris Mehl, The Wilderness Society, 406-586-1600
Andrea Keller Helsel, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-454-3332
Eliot Negin, Natural Resources Defense Council, 202-289-2405
Sean Smith, Bluewater Network, a division of Friends of the Earth, 415-544-0790, x.19

The coalition of National Park Service retirees is hosting a press conference call today, Friday, August 26, 2005, at 1:30 ET/11:30 a.m. MT/10:30 a.m. PT to discuss the Hoffman rewrite and its potential affect on our national parks. The media can participate by calling 1-(800) 860-2442 and ask for the “secret NPS memo” news event. A streaming audio replay of this news event will be available on the Web as of 6 p.m. ET on August 26, 2005, at http://www.npsretirees.org/. == Los Angeles Times front-page story today about the Hoffman rewrite: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-parks26aug26,0,1637602.story?coll=la-home-nation