Hoffman Proposals To Be Topic of Congressional Hearing
Well, just when you thought it was safe to go back into the parks....It sounds like Paul Hoffman's ideas on how to make national parks more user-friendly and commerically appealing are not dying a quick death.
Senator Ken Salazar of Colorado says revisions Hoffman, an Interior Department deputy assistant secretary, made to the National Park Service's Management Policies will be the topic of a congressional hearing next month. The Democrat says the hearing will take a look at proposed changes in management policy that he believes will "undo important park protections against overuse, noise and damage to the air, water, wildlife and scenery."
But over at the Interior Department, spokesman John Wright says Hoffman's suggestions --which include allowing more snowmobiles and ATVs into parks -- would give park visitors a better experience. "It's a work in progress," he told the Rocky Mountain News. "It will be open for public comment. The changes would occur only where the sites can handle it."
Dennis Huffman is a former superintendent at Dinosaur National Monument and Great Sand Dunes National Park. He says Hoffman's revisions, if left intact, would take away the power of park superintendents to regulate uses such as snowmobiles, ATVs, grazing, and even drilling and mining in their parks.
As soon as I get a date and location for the hearing, which will be before the Senate's National Parks Subcommittee, I'll pass it on. In the meantime, contact your senators and voice your opinion on Hoffman's proposals.
The national parks belong to ALL Americans, and the Senate needs to take into consideration how Americans think the parks should be run. One man --no doubt with marching orders from a pro-business and pro-multiple use administration -- should not be able to dictate sweeping changes to how parks are preserved and managed.