Hoffman Plan Attacked on All Sides

Paul HoffmanThe proposed Hoffman rewrite of National Park policies have not been received very well. For months, there have been newspaper opinions across the country critical of the plan and what it would could do to our concept of National Parks. Today there are more official responses to the plan that I'd like to share with you.

1) Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)
The PEER group has filed a lawsuit to find out if there is industry impetus behind the rewrite. Filed under the Freedom of Information Act, the group is asking for records related to the rewrite. Hoffman has claimed that his constituencies have asked for the changes. PEER is asking which constituencies he's referring to. PEER General Counsel Richard Condit has said "we are simply trying to determine which lobbyists are really behind the new Bush administration park policies." Read more on the PEER website.

2) U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander
In a letter to Park Service director Fran Mainella, Alexander has written: "The National Park Service's plan to rewrite its management policies reduces the importance of conservation, impairs park air quality, and increases the likelihood of noise pollution," adding, "I'm not convinced the rewrite process is even necessary at this time." Read the press release, and the complete February 2 letter from Alexander's website [pdf].

3) National Park Unit (Lassen Volcanic National Park)
Lassen has broken down the proposed changes piece by piece and made detailed comments on each. Their conclusion? As stated in an email to park headquarters: "There is no need to re-write the NPS management policies. The 2001 edition very clearly articulates how to interpret the 1916 Organic Act's basic mandate and carefully defines the fundamental purpose of the NPS. In contrast, the 2005 draft significantly confuses the issue and in no way improves or clarifies the guidance given to park managers." Read the entire Lassen Consolidated Comments on the Draft Polices, courtesy of the Coalition of NPS Retirees.

Is there anyone out there that thinks these proposed changes are a good idea? Anyone besides Hoffman? Anyone?


People in the park service are terrified about how the proposed policies would threaten wilderness and park resources. The Adm. rewrite is backed by pro-noise, pro-development, and pro-commercialization advocates that belong to such organizations as the blueribbon coalition and the American recreation coalition (ARC). The American people are solidly against taking the preservation heart out our parks.

Here are some good places to learn more about the Adm.'s proposal: