Tag Archives: National Parks

Government shutdown and its effects on science

Link here. The article is from Science, which is almost always partisan Democrat, as well as strongly pro-government spending for anything that even hints of science research.

Regardless, the shutdown is definitely causing some confusion, partly because of the partisan differences within the government:

There is confusion among scientists about who, exactly, is affected by the shutdown. Some federal agencies have been slow to issue memos clarifying who should report to work on Monday if the shutdown is still in effect. (Workers often come in for a half-day or so to complete “orderly shutdown activities” and receive furlough notices.) At the Environmental Protection Agency, officials have suggested that all employees should expect to work every day next week, in apparent conflict with the agency’s own shutdown plan. Some federal researchers planning to travel to conferences or study sites over the weekend have been uncertain about whether they should board planes or trains.

Unlike the Obama administration, which spent money to purposely block citizens from visiting public sites while also making life as difficult as possible for the general public, Trump has ordered that all public lands be left open, while minimizing the inconvenience to the general public. It appears however that the management at some agencies are still following the Obama playbook, thus causing confusion.

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Trump shrinks two national monuments significantly

As he had promised, President Trump today announced that two national monuments, one created by Obama against the wishes of local residents and the second created by Clinton, will be reduced significantly in size.

Trump shrunk Bears Ears by nearly 85 percent and reduced Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument by almost half. The plan would cut the total amount of land in the state’s red rock country protected under monument status from more than 3.2 million acres (5,000 square miles) to about 1.2 million acres (1,875 square miles).

I think Trump’s statement explains very well the root reasons this is happening.

“Some people think that the natural resources of Utah should be controlled by a small handful of very distant bureaucrats located in Washington. And guess what? They’re wrong,” he said in the cavernous Utah Capitol Rotunda in Salt Lake City. “The families and communities of Utah know and love this land the best. And you know the best how to take care of your land. You know how to protect it, and you know best how to conserve this land for many, many generations to come,” he said.

“Your timeless bond with the outdoors should not be replaced with the whims of regulators thousands and thousands of miles away. They don’t know your land, and truly they don’t care for your land like you do.”

The establishment of the national parks and monuments involved a lot of good intentions, and we all know where that leads. Today it has led to most of the land in the western states controlled by an oppressive bureaucracy in Washington that doesn’t have the resources to manage the land properly, but has the power to make the lives of the local population quite miserable. And they sadly do both, quite thoroughly.

In the eastern states there are few national parks. Instead, the land was controlled by the states, who treated the natural resources there most reasonably, and at the same time allowed for their citizens to live and work and take advantage of those resources. This is how our federal system of government is supposed to work, and Trump’s action today is merely the first step in shifting policy back in that direction.

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The Grand Tetons used as the Obama adminstration’s private playground

The law is for the little people: Obama administration officials, including Vice-President Joe Biden, have been routinely using a closed lodge in Grand Teton National Park for their personal and family vacations.

Vice President Biden and several top White House officials have vacationed with their families at the same log cabin in Grand Teton National Park. Located on Jackson Lake, the rustic getaway is the perfect escape from the fast-paced Washington grind. The cabin also happens to be owned by the federal government, and was banned 20-some years ago by the National Park Service for anything other than “official use.”

This abuse is really not restricted to just elected officials. Park officials also often take advantage of their positions of power to use park facilities for their own pleasure that they ban the public from using.

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