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How Long Will the Parks Last?


    How "healthy" are our national parks? Of course, the answer depends from your perspective. While the current administration believes all is well across the national park system, there are quite a few folks out there who would disagree.
    Mike Day is one of them. A political science major at the University of Florida, once a week Day speaks his mind on a wide range of issues. This week he took aim on how the national park system is being managed and voiced his concern that public lands in general and parks specifically are being seriously threatened by the current administration.
    "I won't need heart surgery anytime soon, but I'm touring the parks because I fear that the wilderness will, and I don't care for its surgeon. I figure I'd better see Old Faithful while she still has a pulse," he writes.
    You can read his entire essay here.


Mike does a good job of encapsulating the whole Norton-era debacle. It will only get worse under Kempthorne. I've been watching him for years. I'm a native of Idaho.

Its a shame that this amateur column is getting publicity, as this piece is pure scare-mongering. Mr. Day is apparently worried that the National Parks might be going away, but to support this radical assertion he lists a number of land-use policies instituted by Secretary Norton that affected any number of federal land designations, including Naitonal Wildlife Refuges, BLM Lands, National Forests, and offshore areas - none of which are National Parks! Indeed, the only policy of Secretary Norton he cites that does affect the National Parks is the policy of allowing snowmobiles in Yellowstone - a policy that was developed in large part under the Clinton Administration. The idea that Old Faithful, a product of powerful geological phenomena, might be losing its pulse, is completely over-the-top. The real irony, of course, is that two of the cited examples are decisions to allow oil drilling (neither involving National Parks), and yet Mr. Day apparently plans to protest this by driving across the country - no word from Mr. Day in which environments he does support drilling in order to fuel his road trips. All told, while the National Parks do have major problems, this poorly-researched column doesn't add anything to the debate.

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