Dry Update 

The following is the dry update on where things stand regarding the NPS issue we”ôve been tracking.

Reader Sean Stubblefield was motivated to take on the issue, to help. Sean wrote to the National Park Service, asking,

Seriously and honestly, how concerned should the public be about these revisions? How vulnerable is the NPS to government or corporate interests, and what is the probability of those interests subverting or circumventing policy?

How much power and authority does the NPS actually have regarding policy implementation?

Here is the response Sean received:


Honestly, the NPS staff are behind these new changes. They clarify our existing policies without any danger to the parks.

Keep in mind that these are just policies. The courts have ruled numerous times that they do not carry the force of law or regulation.

Any changes in the parks still need to go through the formal rulemaking process.


David Barna
Chief of Public Affairs
National Park Service
Washington, DC

Sean also wrote an article for The SOP on the matter: The ParksӦ Out of Danger?

I”ôve written to quite a few people myself and as of now only one has written back, that being Mr. Bill Wade, a retired park ranger who now serves on the Executive Council for the Coalition of NPS Retirees. He used to run Shenandoah National Park, which is near my hometown and one of my favorite places in the galaxy. Mr. Wade responds,

Sorry for the delay in responding to your message.

The NPS Management Policies that were finally approved about a month ago are fine as far as we are concerned. However, we are still concerned that there will be continued pressure on field superintendents when they make decisions related to the policies. So, the implementation will need to be watched very closely. Perhaps the first big test will be how the management policies are considered in the current Environmental Impact Statement regarding the use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone. That EIS is due to be released next year sometime.

Thank you for your interest and support in the National Park System.

Bill Wade

So there we have itӦ

Thoughts? Ideas? Interpretations? Title?

You write the editorial for this one.

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