Statement by Chris Saeger, Executive Director of the Western Values Project, on the 101th anniversary of our nation’s national parks:
Since President Roosevelt first had the foresight and vision to understand that protecting vast tracks of some of the most iconic and wild places was in the nation’s best interest, our national parks have been one of America’s greatest ideas. We have spurred other nations to follow our lead and sparked the now $887 billion outdoor economy, supporting some 7.6 million jobs.
That, regrettably, has changed. Unlike anytime in recent history, our national parks, monuments, and public lands are under attack. The Trump administration and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke are rolling back public land protections, cutting regulations, slashing funding, and proposing dangerous privatization schemes. This administration has one agenda – pay back the moneyed special interests that brought them to power at the expense of our national parks and public lands.
As we celebrate this anniversary, it’s a time reminder how far we’ve come in valuing and protecting public lands, but also how much work is still left to do to make sure future generations can experience America’s unparalleled outdoor heritage.”