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Bill Could Impair National Parks Across the Country

By June 19, 2012

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Today, the U.S. House of Representatives began consideration of HR 2578, a bill that undermines fundamental protection for dozens of national parks. Below is a statement from the NCPA:

"If enacted, the most far-reaching and extreme provision of this legislation would create a zone within 100 miles of our country's international land border of Mexico and Canada. In this zone, the most basic protections for our national parks, historic sites, and other protected areas may cease to exist at the whim of the Department of Homeland Security. This bill undermines basic national park protections based on the false premise that it is somehow impossible to secure our borders and protect our national heritage at the same time.

"No government agency should be above the law, yet this bill would allow the Department of Homeland Security unfettered authority to ignore laws that protect our fish and wildlife, national parks, forests, and historic sites. Ironically, the federal agency that would receive this unfettered authority said it does not want it, doesn't need it, and shouldn't have it. According to Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, this legislation "is unnecessary, and it's bad policy." "Multiple national park sites would be threatened under this legislation, including Voyageurs, Glacier , Fort Union Trading Post, Perry's Victory Memorial, Fort Stanwix National Monument, Big Bend, Tumacacori, Saguaro, and Joshua Tree.

"The bill also includes authorization for reconstructing an expensive, little-used route in North Cascades National Park and undermines the National Park Service's carefully drafted plan that protects families visiting Cape Hatteras beaches, as well as nesting shorebirds and turtles, while still allowing vehicle access along much of the national seashore. Congress must vote "NO" on HR 2578 to protect our national heritage and natural resources."

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