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Founder Of Congress' National Park Caucus Concerned For Parks, National Park Service


Rep. Ron Kind and his wife, Tawni, long have taken their two sons on annual treks into the National Park System/Courtesy of Rep. Kind

For years, Ron Kind would spend Congress' summer recess off in the backcountry, taking his wife and two sons on treks around the National Park System. They were inspiring, as well as rejuvenating, adventures for Wisconsin's Third District congressman, and shaped his perspective on the value of public lands.

"Anyone who has any familiarity with the National Park System can’t help but fall in love with it, and therefore a large part of this is an education campaign," U.S. Rep. Kind said the other day of the National Parks Caucus that he helped launch in Congress. "I do believe this was America’s best idea. My family has personally utilized it as we raised our boys. Ever since they were toddlers, every August during August recess we’d take them to a different national park for a backpacking adventure for like 10 days out in the backcountry. And we hit most of the major parks around the country."

That foundation underscores his great concern for how the Trump administration is approaching the role and management of public lands. The decision by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to keep the National Park System open during the recent government shutdown is just the most recent decision that alarmed the congressman.

“They were trying to keep them open but without staffing them, without any personnel on the ground to help visitors. That seemed a little dangerous to me,” said Congressman Kind. 

Dangerous to individuals, and damaging to natural resources. In Yellowstone National Park, some snowmobilers went illegally out of their way, with a couple cruising the boardwalk fronting Old Faithful and several others riding two-stroke machines in the park. At Zion National Park, officials believe a pregnant cow elk was poached on the first day of the shutdown, and park staff received reports from visitors of base jumpers leaping from Lady Mountain.

“This is what happens when you don’t have the right supervision or the staff there keeping an eye on things," said Rep. Kind, who also thought Secretary Zinke's decision to keep the parks open with skeleton NPS staffing was motivated, at least in part, by a desire to show the size of the National Park Service can be reduced without harming the park system.

"That’s how I was reading it, too, that you don’t need to staff up, that this can be self-policing, self-guided and all that. But I think that wold be a terrible mistake," he said.

Rep. Ron Kind/Courtesy photo

The National Parks Caucus was founded by Mr. Kind and Dave Reichert, a Republican representing Washington state's 8th Congressional District. Its mission, explained Rep. Kind, is to educate fellow members of Congress about the National Park System and National Park Service and their needs. Its membership, roughly three dozen members, doesn't hold formal meetings as such, but communicates via emails and face-to-face during floor sessions. The caucus also sends bipartisan letters to appropriation committees encouraging more support for the Park Service.

While the caucus is bipartisan, its relatively sparse membership and the Republican control of both houses of Congress give it little clout in opposing anti-park efforts in Congress. That's why Rep. Kind has little hope a majority in Congress will oppose efforts to shrink national monuments such as Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, two in Utah that President Trump has moved to lop a combined 1 million acres from.

"Unfortunately, the Republican-led Congress will (support it)," the Democrat said. "(U.S. Rep.) Rob Bishop as chair of the House Natural Resources Committee has for a long time been very critical of these designations, and now he has a president and an administration that is sympathetic to that viewpoint.

“But I don’t believe the American public is there. I think the more they (the administration and Congress) do this, there is going to be more pushback from the American public, and there could be a day of reckoning," added Mr. Kind.

One approach that might minimize further damage, he said, was to take President Trump out into the National Park System and show him its wonders and the love the American people have for the parks. And, said the congressman, convince the president that using the Antiquities Act to designate national monuments is "the greatest thing that any president has ever done in the history of our country."

Rep. Kind also voiced the belief that many GOP politicians in the West are conflicted over public lands. Evidence of that can be found in Utah, where the congressional delegation and governor heartily supported President Trump's action on Bears Ears and Grand Staircase, but tout the benefits of the state's five national parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, and Zion.

Gov. Gary Herbert was so concerned about the economic contributions from tourism to Arches National Park that in December he wrote Superintendent Kate Cannon to express great worry over a proposal to implement a reservation system to manage congestion in the park, fearful that it would create "long-term harm to the local economy."

"This national park and Delicate Arch are iconic symbols of Utah and the lifeblood of Moab's economy," wrote the governor. "This area is a key player in Utah's $8.4 billion tourism industry. People travel from all over the world to experience Delicate Arch, similar to planning a trip to the Sistine Chapel or the Great Wall of China."

“I think there’s an internal conflict between states' rights and the true value that these public lands bring to any state," Rep Kind said. "And any locality. I think they recognize the economic impact, and these parks do tend to punch above their weight, and that’s clear to them. But then again, there’s this internal conflict that they have about the federal government coming in running things, or telling them how they can use the land."

With Interior Secretary Zinke's determination to open public lands to energy development, drastically reorganize the Interior Department, and work to implement President Trump's desire to see a reduced federal government in personnel and budget, Rep. Kind is greatly concerned about the future of public lands.

“There certainly seems to be an attitude with the current administration that their mission in life is to roll back what the previous administration did. And obviously what the Obama administration did when it comes to designation and expansion, which was pretty impressive," he said. "And if all the president is motivated to do is curtail that or wipe it clean, that could do a tremendous amount of damage to the progress that’s been made. Not just with the Obama administration, but with previous administrations, too.

"We need to get the president into some parks. I don’t know if he’s ever really visited a national park.”

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Always love how the liberals lack of facts always doom their Anti-Trump rants like this one.

Complaining about Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke doing the very thing they want him to do. 

The quote that the rant is partially based on and is used as an example.

"They were trying to keep them open but without staffing them, without any personnel on the ground to help visitors. That seemed a little dangerous to me," said Congressman Kind. 

So according to this writer and his supporters, Trump Administration screwed up and should have closed the National Parks during the Democratic shutdown because they were not adequately staffed or secured, but they screwed up by not opening up more parks and memorials without funding for staff or security.  That seemed a little dangerous to me

You can't have it both ways...

So how did a group with "roughly three dozen members" get ANY media attention.  Heck I can get "three dozen members" for just about any cause and NEVER get ANY media attention.  Oh wait, that's right, the media is BIASED so we see "news" like this in Fakebook.

So much for "Freedom of the Press"

Forget the proposal Trump will appreciate and understand the Values many visitors find within our national park system:  for the following reasons:
"Narcissistic personality disorder involves a distorted self-image. Emotions can be unstable and intense, and there is excessive concern with vanity, prestige, power, and personal adequacy. There also tends to be a lack of empathy and an exaggerated sense of superiority."
"Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is closely associated with egocentrism, a personality characteristic in which people see themselves and their interests and opinions as the only ones that really matter."

TRUMP  as Pathological Liar:

A 'Pathological liar' is absolutely the toughest individual to deal with as a psychiatrist. Because you can't take anything they say at face value. And you can't, you know, fill in their personality. You don't know what's real and what's not. 
Read more at:

Vegas Voice...


Trump supporters have consistently as a whole shown lower education levels, and per what I've researched overall on average IQ levels have shown IQ 3.54 points higher for each year of education. There are exceptions, of course, but since you were painting with a big broad brush of generality, I did as well.

Liar  TRUMP  values The Border Wall more highly than Interior Agencies and their Budgetary  Needs.  Downsize  Federal  Agencies

including the IRS  so audits of  TRUMP  Organization wealthy will be reduced.  TRUMP Tax changes benefit the Wealthy and super

Wealthy.  Only "A few benefit crumbs" for the working poor.

Democratic shut down eh?  Well when one party controls the house, senate, and the Presidency and claims it is the other party's fault, then I say one has a problem with reality.

When one doesn't understand the rules of Congress, then I say one has a problem with reality.


The trump administration has apparently commanded BLM to restart some old "grazing improvements" on lands that trump wants to remove from Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.

The process is called "chaining" and involves a couple of large bulldozers dragging a long length of anchor chain to destroy the pinyon-juniper forest that covers the landscape.  This is supposed to stimulate growth of grass to be consumed by cattle grazing on allotments rented by ranchers.

Here is a notice from Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance:

And here is a link to a BLM document with mentions of past chaining activities in GRST:

One of the reasons Clinton created GRST was to end the practice of chaining on those lands and prevent it from being continued in the future.

This looks like it may be the start of another battle to defend our public lands from the grubby paws of trump and company.   We'll need to stay alert.  

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