Senators to Review Management Policy Rewrite
The U.S. Senate's Subcommittee on Parks will spend some time Tuesday reviewing changes the Interior Department has proposed to the National Park Service's Management Policies. Chairing the hearing that begins at 10 a.m. in the Senate's Energy Hearing Room will be Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming, who in the past has been honored by the National Parks Conservation Association for his work for the parks.
However, how Senator Thomas will view the revisions that could open the parks' doors to more snowmobiling, and ATV use, and more overflights, is hard to say. Cameron Hardy, Thomas' press secretary, says the senator believes there should be more balance between the Park Service's traditional preservation mandate and public enjoyment of the parks.
"As our parks have become a model around the world for how you should both maintain and offer these kinds of places for your citizens to enjoy, I think you can't have one without the other," Hardy told me. "They're not mutually exclusive."
Hardy does expect his boss to press those who testify at the hearing to explain how they see the proposed Management Policies revisions impacting the parks. And that will make for some interesting testimony.
On one side you have Steve Martin, the National Park Service's deputy director for operations, and Bill Horn, a lobbyist for the motorized recreation industry. Both support the changes. On the other side is Deny Galvin and Karen Wade, former Park Service officials who question the need for changes.
The outcome of this hearing should shed some light on whether the revisions will stand.