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House Hearing Into NPS Organic Act Postponed


    Is it too hot in the kitchen?
    That's a good question to ask now that Congressman Steve Pearce has postponed a committee hearing into the National Park Service Organic Act.
    Pearce, a New Mexico Republican who chairs the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands, had scheduled the hearing for this Thursday, the 20th. And he invited some heavy hitters from the multiple-use ranks to testify about the act. But word came down today that the hearing has been indefinitely postponed.
    Perhaps the problem was that the GOP had generated so much controversy over proposals to sell national parks, to allow corporate sponsorships in national parks, and to rewrite the National Park Service's Management Policies to allow for much more motorized recreation in the national parks, that the party finally realized it would merely generate more ill will by even discussing changes to the Organic Act.
    Why tinker with the act? I'm only speculating, but the act as it currently stands directs the Park Service to place preservation of park lands as its No. 1 priority, above recreation, and that interpretation has been upheld by the courts.
    Sooo, if the act was rewritten to put recreation on equal footing, or even above, preservation, then you could open the park gates to snowmobiles, ATVs, mountain bikes and who knows what sort of recreational tools.

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