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House Natural Resources Committee Plans Keen Oversight of National Park Service, Other Land-Management Agencies


In a full committee meeting today the House Natural Resources Committee is going over its proposed agenda for the 112th Congress, and topping the list is keen oversight of land-management agencies.

In past Congresses, the Committee on Natural Resources has been lax in performing a core Constitutional duty of the Legislative Branch to examine and question the Executive Branch's implementation and administration of laws written by the Congress. This lack of fundamental oversight by the Committee occurred under both Democrat and Republican majorities, and when examining both Democrat and Republican Presidential Administrations.

In the 112th Congress, the Committee on Natural Resources, and its five Subcommittees, will be fully committed to fulfilling their oversight responsibilities. In prioritizing the oversight work of the Committee and the Subcommittees, the emphasis will be placed first and foremost on 1)job creation and economic growth, and 2) reducing spending and eliminating unnecessary, duplicative, and unaffordable government programs.

When it comes to the subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands and its oversight of the National Park Service specifically, this proposed agenda calls for:

* Review of the National Park Service's fiscal year 2012 budget request. These hearings also will look into "stimulus" spending made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act;

* Oversight into "how implementation of environmental laws on federal lands affects border security";

* Finding ways to see that budget cuts don't impede the Park Service's basic mission and resources, and that any cuts made "affect only nontraditional park activities";

* Examining any proposals for new units of the National Park System "with due regard for the merits of the proposal, spending constraints, the need for access to vital resources, and protection of property rights";

* Examine how best to reduce the estimated $9 billion operations and maintenance backlog confronting the Park Service while, at the same time, "foster and expand wholesome, family enjoyment of the parks."


Except for many members of Congress on these committees, to "foster and expand wholesome, family enjoyment of the parks" means snowmobiling, other noisy and polluting activities and guns, guns and more guns.

I'm thinking that there are many including not just a few in NPS that will welcome oversight reviews in the Intermountain Region activities. A shining light on the darkness would be encouraging, really, hard to do well but would be REFRESHING.


I spent a part of Monday, the 24th, meeting with the Regional Director and his senior staff plus a group of superintendents who are part of an advisory team for the RD. I think you would find a refreshing change in the leadership of the region. I don't think it is going to be business as usual in the IMR. I am optimistic that things are going to get better quickly.

This does not mean, of course, that everything that went on previouly is going to be resolved overnight. But, I think they are on the way toward a time that the IMR will be a region in which we can all take pride.


This ain't gonna be good for the land.

We here at the Grand Canyon are looking at mounting pressure from a border community that wants to go big time. The wheeler-dealers feel another million or more visitors-a year- through the park is fine and dandy. There's a rumor that the Hualapai want riverboat gambling on the Colorado. The EIS for air traffic is jammed-up in DC. Combine all this with the a pro-industry House, AZ's budget woes and the Canyon is gonna get screwed. I'm bettin the new Super will be giddy about Chamber mixers.

Chinch down yer duster boys and grab yer chaps cause the wind's gonna blow!

Those guys and gals with the chaps and dusters in the Canyon have been reduced by 75% so for the cultural and living history that won't be experienced there won't be anywhere to go but up. A correction (good term) is going on. Hope we all land somewhere that's rational and based on REAL facts and not bias (selfish). Bring it on :):).

Rob Bishop is coming! Rob Bishop is coming! Lord help us all . . . .

Be grateful for Rob Bishop, it could be the rapture! Hey, it just might be :):)!

Re: Rick Smith
Part of the restoration process for NPS handing over the 350+ FOIA requests that NPS has refused so far, to the Natural Resources Sub-Committee on National Parks. I'm.sure it will be painful but hope the resulting actions support your positive outlook. A correction is most definitely in motion.

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