Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Welcome Polluters - This Land is Your Land
In line with the administration's close ties to fundamentalist Christians, the plan provides for "sale of religious merchandise" in the parks and exclusion from the policy document "any references to evolution or evolutionary processes".
- "Recently, a secret draft revision of the national park system's basic management policy document has been circulating within the Interior Department. It was prepared, without consultation within the National Park Service, by Paul Hoffman, a deputy assistant secretary at Interior who once ran the Chamber of Commerce in Cody, Wyo., was a Congressional aide to Dick Cheney and has no park service experience."
- "Some of Mr. Hoffman's changes are trivial, although even apparently subtle changes in wording - from "protect" to "conserve," for instance - soften the standard used to judge the environmental effects of park policy."
- "But there is nothing subtle about the main thrust of this rewrite. It is a frontal attack on the idea of "impairment." According to the act that established the national parks, preventing impairment of park resources - including the landscape, wildlife and such intangibles as the soundscape of Yellowstone, for instance - is the "fundamental purpose." In Mr. Hoffman's world, it is now merely one of the purposes."
- "There are other issues too. Mr. Hoffman would explicitly allow the sale of religious merchandise, and he removes from the policy document any reference to evolution or evolutionary processes. He does everything possible to strip away a scientific basis for park management. His rules would essentially require park superintendents to subordinate the management of their parks to local and state agendas. He also envisions a much wider range of commercial activity within the parks."
- "In short, this is not a policy for protecting the parks. It is a policy for destroying them."
- "It is clear by now that Mr. Bush has no real intention of living up to his campaign promise to fully finance the national parks. This document offers a vivid picture of the divide between the National Park Service, whose career employees remain committed to the fundamental purpose of leaving the parks unimpaired, and an Interior Department whose political appointees seem willing to alter them beyond recognition, partly in the service of commercial objectives."
- "Suddenly, many things - like the administration's efforts to force snowmobiles back into Yellowstone - seem very easy to explain."