Access Issues

Groups Sue to Stop Major Expansion of Fracking in Central CA

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Nine conservation groups have just filed suit against the Trump administration - an attempt to stop a plan to open up more than a million acres of public land in Central California to drilling and fracking.

The lawsuit claims the Bureau of Land Management violated the National Environmental Protection Act - or NEPA - by disregarding the potential impact of the new wells on public health, air quality and climate change.

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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.

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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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