Access Issues

Congress, not presidential proclamation, should establish national parks

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This summer, the National Park Service (NPS) celebrated its 103rd anniversary. The NPS, the leading agency responsible for maintaining national parks and monuments, remains popular among the general public. Yet, the reservation of public lands is not without controversy, especially when it comes to national monuments.

One key difference between national parks and national monuments is how they are created. National parks can only be established by an act of Congress. Monuments, on the other hand, are established by presidential proclamation.

The power to establish monuments comes from the Antiquities Act of 1906. The original purpose of the Antiquities Act, as its name suggests, was to allow the president to quickly protect antiquities and other historic objects from looters.

NPS, National Park Service

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Electric Bicycle use on Public Lands Increasing

Department of the Interior Pushes to Increase Access and Recreational Opportunities for Electric Bicycle Use on Public Lands

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WASHINGTON (Oct 22, 2019) – Today, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced its guidance to implement Secretary’s Order 3376, Increasing Recreational Opportunities Through the Use of Electric Bikes, which will allow the use of low-speed electric bicycles (e-bikes) at national wildlife refuges and other DOI-managed public lands where traditional biking occurs, expanding recreational opportunities and access to millions of Americans. The National Park Service (NPS) has previously issued guidance to allow for e-bikes to be used on most bike paths in the national parks.

Secretary’s Order 3376, signed by U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt on August 29, directs DOI bureaus to create a clear and consistent e-bike policy for the lands they manage. The policy also supports Secretary’s Order 3366 to increase recreational opportunities on public lands.

Public Lands, e-bikes

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Economic Impact of National Parks

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Economic Impact of National Parks

National parks are great contributors to our nation’s economy; supporting a historically low unemployment rate of 3.6%, which is the lowest the unemployment rate has been since 1969.

According to the annual National Park Service report, 2018 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, more than 318 million visitors spent $20.2 billion in communities within 60 miles of a park in the National Park System. Of the 329,000 jobs supported by visitor spending, more than 268,000 jobs exist in the park gateway communities.

In 2018, visitors to Grand Teton National Park spent $629 million in communities near the park. That spending supported 8,620 jobs in the local area and had a cumulative benefit to the local economy of $792 million.

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New Government Report Reaffirms Outdoor Recreation’s Role as a Significant Economic Driver

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Newly released economic data on the national and, for the first time ever, state levels reinforce what the outdoor recreation industry has long believed: Outdoor recreation is a powerful driver of national and local economies and it is growing faster than the U.S. economy as a whole.  

This is the second consecutive year that the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has released formal, national-level data, a notable milestone for the industry now identified as a unique sector of the economy. For the first time, BEA also released preliminary data on the outdoor recreation economy at the state level for all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Having a rich set of both state and national data on outdoor recreation to draw upon will inform decision-making by businesses, policymakers, and managers of public lands and waters.  

Recreation, economics

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National Park Visitor Spending Contributed $40 Billion to U.S. Economy

Report Finds 2018 Spending Supported 329,000 jobs in Hotels, Restaurants, Transportation, Recreation

doi-logoWASHINGTON – As the summer vacation and travel seasons opens, U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced today that visitor spending in communities near national parks in 2018 resulted in a $40.1 billion benefit to the nation’s economy and supported 329,000 jobs.

According to the annual National Park Service report, 2018 National Park Visitor Spending Effects, more than 318 million visitors spent $20.2 billion in communities within 60 miles of a park in the National Park System. Of the 329,000 jobs supported by visitor spending, more than 268,000 jobs exist in the park gateway communities.

National Park Service, economics

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