Management Policies Primer
A question arose the other day regarding the fate of the proposed revisions to the National Park Service's Management Policies. As things currently stand, the revisions are open to a 90-day comment period, which runs to January 19. However, the chairman of the Senate Parks Subcommittee has indicated he wants the Park Service to extend that period to a full 120-days. And, as I noted in my conversation with National Parks Conservation Association Tom Kiernan, that group is suggesting the Interior Department put a hold on the comment period and conduct a public "scoping" process to gauge whether Americans believe there's a need to tinker with the policies.
Also, the fate of the guidelines is entirely up to political appointees in the Interior Department and National Park Service. That said, bipartisan pressure from senators and members of the House of Representatives, coupled with strong opposition voiced from newspapers across the country, likely will impact how the final revisions look.
All that said, if Interior Department officials choose to turn their heads to that collective opposition, you can bet a lawsuit will surface on grounds that the revised Management Policies don't uphold the intent of the National Park Service Organic Act.
Near the top of the left hand column of my blog you can find a box specific to the Management Policies comment period. If the comment period is extended, or aborted, I'll note it there. Also, in that box you can find an email address to forward your thoughts on the revisions to the Park Service.