Trump/Zinke Seek to Open Public Lands to Extraction

October, 2017


Director’s Orders (DO‘s) are the National Park Service’s  law-based public policies that guide the actions and priorities of managing national park lands for future generations. DO 100 was written as a foundational statement of purpose.  The title, DO 100, refers to the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and represented current and emerging challenges in managing parks in the Service’s second century.

DO 100 was initiated in the moderate conservative administration of George W. Bush and was based upon recommendations from the independent Science Committee of the National Park System Advisory Board in 2012. DO 100 identifies climate change, biodiversity loss, invasive species, land use changes, and pollution as primary issues that require comprehensive, science-based management responses to ensure that the parks’ irreplaceable natural and cultural treasures are preserved “unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

On August 16, the Trump Administration simply rescinded the newly adopted DO 100 with no replacement and no new vision to replace it.

Meanwhile, a recently-leaked document from Interior Secretary Zinke  labeled  “Draft Deliberative—Not for Distribution” itemizes proposed  reductions in ten National Monuments, on land and at sea.

Zinke’s recommendations welcome logging, commercial activities, and new energy exploration on public lands, referring to extraction of resources such as grazing, logging, coal mining and commercial fishing—which are restricted within most Monument boundaries—as “traditional uses.”

“No other administration has gone this far,” said Kristen Brengel, vice president of government affairs for the National Parks Conservation Association. “This law was intended to protect places from development, not promote damaging natural and cultural resources.”

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