July 25, 2006
NPS takes heat for putting conservation first in National Parks
The NPS responded to the outcry about its draft policy (8/05 draft NPS policy post ) by restoring conservation as its fundamental mission. But no good deed ever goes unpunished:
Latest NPS management policies draft examined
Serious questions remain over what NPS views as its fundamental mission
Washington - The House Resources Subcommittee on National Parks today held an oversight hearing on the final draft of the National Park Service Management Policies.
"I believe the development of these management policies are critical to the vitality of the National Park System," Subcommittee Chairman Stevan Pearce (R-N.M.) said. "I am very concerned that the final draft, while making some notable improvements, appears to retreat back to the 2001 management policies, which failed to provide an effective balance between enhancing visitor enjoyment and conservation. Achieving such a balance remains a critical priority."
The primary purpose of the management policies is to help direct National Park Service (NPS) managers in their day-to-day operations. In October of 2005, the NPS released a new draft of the policies for public comment. The subcommittee held a hearing on that version in March 2006. Today's hearing was called in reaction to the changes made in the final version of the draft.
Chairman Pearce called attention to many of the sections and themes in the current version that differed from that of 2005, especially those that recognized the mission of the NPS to conserve and provide for enjoyment in the 2005 draft, but reverted to the 2001 language that focused only on conservation.
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