A recent executive order could "eliminate unnecessary agencies" in the name of streamlining government.
Photo illustration; Trump photo by Matt Johnson, flickr.
The Trump administration has again shifted its war on conservation, this time taking aim at the pillars of America's public lands: the National Park Service and other agencies.
Lost amid the furor over the White House's attacks on national monuments, the EPA and the Arctic, a recent executive order asks the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to "eliminate unnecessary agencies" in the name of streamlining government.
Shockingly, the White House's first step is simply...asking people which agencies they want to get rid of. Rarely do we see attacks on lands, waters and wildlife in such a stark and unmediated light. But sure enough, the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and numerous others are among those you can select to "eliminate" through a new whitehouse.gov portal between now and June 12.
Why would we eliminate the agency that protects places like Colorado's Rocky Mountain National Park? Credit: Mason Cummings (TWS).
This survey is in keeping with the worldview of an administration that has previously advised starvation-diet funding for conservation agencies and programs, even though they are considered to provide a great return on taxpayer investment.
As Americans we need to get involved in this survey and let the Trump administration know that we would never want to eliminate any of the critical agencies that protect our wildlands and our clean air and water.
Eliminating our environmental agencies goes hand-in-hand with Trump and Congress' agenda to give more of our public lands away to fossil fuel companies and other developers. Anti-conservation members of Congress are already working with Trump to undo protections for wildlands across the nation. These efforts have included shutting the public out of decisions about drilling, mining and logging on our public lands; and opening the Arctic Ocean to drilling.
Among many other consequences, if land agencies are eliminated or severely cut, it could...
- make understaffed parks vulnerable to crime and vandalism
- further hamper the ability of the Forest Service to fight wildfires while still running crucial conservation programs
- starve recovery efforts for endangered species in national wildlife refuges
- leave trails and roads in a state of disrepair
The Trump administration keeps moving the goalposts on what is considered extreme behavior, but we can't afford to let outrageous anti-public lands attacks become the new normal. Please take a minute to tell the White House you REJECT its attack on public land agencies.
1) Go to this White House page and select "-NONE-" for which agencies to cut or eliminate.
2) When you're asked for your reasoning or other comments or ideas, select "-NA-" and let the Trump administration know that they should not only keep our land agencies whole—but give them much-needed and long-delayed funding to do the critical conservation work our public lands need.
Stay tuned for more on this developing threat.