Bush legacy leaves uphill climb for U.S. parks, critics say. By Julie Cart. LA Times.

The more I think of what Bush and has cronies did; the more I think it was like the United States was occupied by a foreign power for 8 years, and an unfriendly one at that.

I want a trial!

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

16 Responses to Bush legacy leaves uphill climb for U.S. parks, critics say

  1. avatar April Clauson says:

    I here there is a nice 1,600 acre ranch in Texas that I would love for myself and a few thousand other folks to go visit, and we can all throw shoes in the yard!

  2. avatar Chuck Parker says:

    The less money the NPS gets the better. Too much NPS money goes for bureaucratic empire building and what Ed Abbey called “industrial tourism.” No park should be given a budget increase unless that increase includes a 37% increase for staffing the naturalist/interpretation division. We need on-the-ground naturalists in Yellowstone, not a $4.8 million visitor center at Old Faithful that shows videos of geysers rather than providing visitors with a real live naturalist who takes them for a walk in a geyser basin.

  3. avatar Save bears says:

    April,

    I am betting that would get your butt thrown in jail…remember he still has the SS(Secret Service) protecting his back for at least a while longer…

  4. avatar jimbob says:

    Chuck Parker makes a great point. The money for NPS is usually used to stimulate local economies not make the park habitat better.

  5. Hiring workers such as naturalists will create more employment than new heavy construction.

    However, there is a dire need for new buildings at Mammoth in Yellowstone, and the sewage system in Yellowstone is antique, all too often spilling raw sewage into what should be relatively pristine waters.

  6. avatar jdubya says:

    What Chuck says is partly true but, case in point, is the visitor center at Dinosaur Monument. For those of you who have not been, this was a great closed but open structure that allowed you to be part of a dino dig. It was one of the best teaching tools of the monument. But it was declared structurally unsafe a few years ago and, of course, has been left closed to rot away by the Bush team while, of course, they were raking in $$ from selling nearby oil and gas leases. It should be fixed up and re-opened. So some structures are worth investing in.

  7. avatar JB says:

    The Park Service–like the other land management agencies–is simply fulfilling its purpose as codified by law (specifically, the Organic Act of 1916). NPS’s “dual mandate” is “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic
    objects and the wildlife therein and to provide for the
    enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such
    means as will leave them unimpaired for the
    enjoyment of future generations.”

    FYI: 4.8 million is chump change; moreover, visitor centers funnel people into “sacrifice areas.” Meaning, while they’re standing inside watching that video of a geyser visitors are not outside causing soil compaction, erosion, creating social trails, feeding bears or harrassing wildlife.

    The land management agencies have suffered under Bush and are all deserving of a budget increase.

  8. avatar kt says:

    Here is a Park (Rainier), that while a Mr. Uburuaga was Manager – I think he is now moving onto Yosemite – got a 22 million dollar visitor center. Don’t know if he is related to Dirk Kempthorne’s ex-staffer or not.

    THey were crying with joy … Dirk Kempthorne was there.

    http://www.thenewstribune.com/331/v-lite/story/505530.html

  9. avatar JB says:

    For those who think NPS has plenty of funding, I encourage you to take a few minutes to browse this page: http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/quickfacts.htm

    A few highlights:
    –NPS is responsible for 3.6% of all lands in the U.S.
    –NPS currently maintains 27,000 structures; including 8,500 monuments and statues, 7,600 buildings, 1,800 bridges & tunnels, 680 water treatment facilities, 8,500 miles of roads, and 12,000 miles of trails.
    –It does this with ~20,000 full time employees.

  10. avatar Save bears says:

    JB,

    I don’t think any agency has enough funding…this has been proven time and time again, the idea is good, but somehow the funding never comes through to the level to manage and administer them correctly..

  11. avatar Chuck Parker says:

    All the money in the world won’t help the nps manage funding correctly. To use an admittidly extreme example, the cost of keeping Yellowstone’s Sylvan Pass/East Entrance open for a handful of snowmobilers in winter, is probably more than the entire Yellowstone budget for naturalists in the summer. Its a no-brainer to close Sylvan Pass in winter. NPS brass, apparently, has no brains. Or not enough balls to tell the business interests in Wyoming that insist on keeping Sylvan Pass open to bugger off.

  12. avatar Save bears says:

    Dave,

    I agree 100%, the funding used to keep Sylvan open is a waste of money, it should be stopped as soon as possible..and it should have never been a point of debate

  13. avatar dbaileyhill says:

    And lets not forget the Bush administrations multi-billion dollar project to make the pass road wider to accommodate large motor homes for a handful of Cheney’s friends.

  14. avatar JB says:

    The decision to keep Sylvan Pass open was pure political interference. If left to agency professionals, it would’ve been closed. Don’t blame NPS for Dick Cheney’s priorities.

  15. avatar JB says:

    Chuck says: “All the money in the world won’t help the nps manage funding correctly.”

    I think NPS has done an amazing job given the resources it has been provided. 27,000 structures maintained by 20,000 FTEs; you do the math.

  16. avatar Chuck Parker says:

    JB–Did you ever think that maybe the NPS has too many structures? Grizzlies were listed as a threatened species in 1975, and 6 years later the NPS builds the monstrosity known as Grant Pillage in prime grizzly habitat. We didn’t need all those structures; it was just bureaucratic empire building.

    Here’s another example of mismanaging the NPS budget for Yellowstone from former chief ranger Dan Sholly’s book Guardians of Yellowstone: “While the number of winter visitors seemed minuscule in comparison to the millions who came in the winter months, it really wasn’t to our budget. I had learned that it cost the park four dollars per summer visitor to keep them and their facilities healthy, while it cost thirty dollars per winter visitor.”

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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