How You Can Protect Your National Parks From Trump’s Greed.
Originally published on my blog: Hanna Writes.com
Like many of you, I laughed reading the twitter storm following Trump’s 4th of July gaffe about airports and the Revolutionary War. The creative tweets – #Revolutionary War Airports are a fun read, but on a more serious note, Trump’s Independence Day ‘Salute to Trump’ raided much needed funds from the national parks. This administration has diverted $2.5 million dollars in national park fee revenues to pay for the July 4th extravaganza and as Theresa Pierno, President and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association, outlined in a blistering statement:
“Two and a half million dollars might not seem like a lot to this administration, but to a national park it’s everything. Fee dollars are meant to protect our parks irreplaceable resources and enhance visitors’ experiences, not fund Presidential stunt. The Park Service is already operating on a shoestring budget, and park staff have come to heavily rely on visitor fee dollars to fund law enforcement personnel, create educational programs for visitors, and address the nearly $12 billion in needed repairs for crumbling park buildings, trails and roads.”
For me, preserving our public lands / wildlife is personal. A few years ago, I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, enjoying its awe-inspiring beauty. During this hike, I had an incident that required a Park Ranger’s help to climb back up out of the canyon. Had I been hiking during the Trump era of National Park budget cuts / hiring freezes, I would not have gotten the help I desperately needed.
In the next few years, I would love to see the Grand Canyon and other national treasures with my young niece and nephew. Unless the Trump’s administration’s proposal to allow toxic uranium mining in the Grand Canyon region is stopped, such trips will be impossible for all of us.
Grand Canyon, Photo by Quinn Nietfeld on Unsplash
While you and I can laugh about Trump’s verbal blunders, Trump’s scripted Orwellian speeches are frightening. On Monday, July 8th, 2019, Trump bragged about his ‘environmental record’ in a speech filled with so many lies that as usual reporters are left dumbstruck.
“Shameless” might as well be the official motto of the Trump administration. Despite cutting more than 80 environmental regulations, appointing a climate change denier to the National Security Council and giving senior administration roles to former fossil fuel industry lobbyists, Trump claimed:
“From day one, my administration has made it a top priority to make sure America has among the very cleanest air and cleanest water on the planet. We want the cleanest air. We want crystal clean water. And that’s what we’re doing.” – Trump, aka Liar in Chief.
- EPA proposes allowing dangerous amounts of rocket-fuel compound in our drinking water
- Trump administration gets creative with math to make air pollution appear less deadly
- Trump’s 2020 budget proposal is a gut-punch to the environment
Climate Protest – Water is Life. Photo by Vlad Tchompalov on Unsplash.com
Clearly, Trump’s corrupt administration has handed the federal government over to fossil fuel interests. Allowing polluters to contaminate your air & water with industrial waste, erasing protections for public lands, waters, and wildlife – amount to a betrayal of you, the American public as well as future generations.
What can you do?
Join an environmental conservation organization in your community. Here is a list of 31 Conservation groups to choose from. If there is no chapter in your area, you can start your own local group. Most of the established environmental groups can put you in contact with nearby leaders who can offer support, as well as resources to help you get started.
Join / Donate to organizations such as: Center for Public Integrity, Environmental Integrity Project, Grist, etc. These independent watchdog groups / news organizations act as your eyes and ears – investigating, reporting and holding big polluters and government agencies accountable for abusing public trust.
Check out a candidate’s record on environmental policies here: National Environmental Scorecard – League of Conservation Voters. Make sure that you’re registered to vote and encourage your friends to register to vote. Vote as though your life depends on it, because it does.
As Theodore Roosevelt once said: