Proposed changes to the policies that have protected our National Parks can turn them into “A Noisy, Hazy, Off-road Nightmare.” Keeping the 2001 NPS Management Policies would be much better for our parks than adopting the proposed changes.

A number of retired employees of the National Park Service, each of whom served the National Park Service in executive level leadership positions, are opposed to the proposed changes and have explained their concerns in a detailed letter. The signers of the letter include three Deputy Directors that served between 1975 and 2002 and a long list of Regional, Associate, and Center Directors. Their letter will tell you most of what you need to know (see the “letter of protest” link below). They call the proposed changes “a drastic and dangerous departure from a longstanding national consensus.” They go on to say “We are especially troubled by the omission from the opening sections of the Management Policies of their long-established emphasis upon the NPS’s overriding responsibility to preserve resources on behalf of all Americans, including those yet unborn.”

Several senators are also opposed. The National Council of Churches (NCC) and are calling on Americans to do their part to stop these changes. Surprisingly enough, it was an email this morning from the NCC that brought this issue to my attention.

If you are a photographer and you want to protect our National Parks from visual degradation, DO YOUR PART.

If you are a person of faith (no matter what religion) and you believe that stewardship of the earth and preserving the beauty of some of our national wonders is important, DO YOUR PART.

If you want your children and granchildren to be able to enjoy our National Parks in the future in the way that you have enjoyed them in the past, DO YOUR PART.

If you believe in the values of wilderness, tranquility, and peace, and you don’t want our National Parks to sound more and more like amusement parks, DO YOUR PART.

If you use the form letter at the link below, it will take you less than two minutes to fill out and send. The NPS deadline for sending emails or post marking letters is February 18 at 11:59 pm MST.

While you are at it, write to your representatives in the House and Senate. Find your elected officials here.

Send an email to the NPS:

Send a message to the National Park Service with this online form letter from the Faithful America web site. Just fill in your name, email address, and mailing address and click “Send this message”. You can edit the letter or write your own letter in the box provided.

You can also use the NPS comment form. You are limited to a 4,000 character message.

Or write to this NPS email address: and use this subject line: “Comments on NPS Management Policies (ID: 12825)”.

There is an online form letter you can log on and use at the Sierra Club web site and another online form at the National Parks Conservation Association web site.

Information Links:

The web site of Faithful America with more information about this issue.

Read the letter of protest to the NPS Director from National Park Service employees that served in executive level leadership positions with the park service prior to their retirement.

The National Parks Conservation Association is also opposed to the proposed NPS policy changes.

Some Republican and Democratic Senators oppose changes to proposed NPS policies changes.

The complete text of proposed revisions to National Park Service management policies.

National Council of Churches home page.

Web logs indicate that about half the readers of this blog are from outside the U.S.A. If you’ve been to one of the U.S. National Parks, or you want to visit some day, this issue affects you too. Please email the National Park Service and express your opinions as a visitor to our country.

From the web site, February 16, 2006.

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