I received an email today from Thomas C. Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association, with the subject line: “They Deserve Better.”
He writes (the letter was a formatted eblast with photos, links, etc.):
“Dear Susie, I urgently need your help to ensure Congress makes critical investments in our national parks . . . to support local economies, improve visitor experiences, and preserve our wilderness and history for our children and grandchildren.
“The House funding bill for Fiscal Year 2013 that passed through committee on June 28 sadly continues a three-year trend of eroding national park budgets. In today’s dollars, combined with the last two years of cuts, the bill would slash overall funding for the National Park Service by nearly 20%. The bill also includes a harsh 82% cut to the Land and Water Conservation Fund for the National Park Service, which could increase the threat of development within some of our most beloved parks.
“Craig Obey, NPCA Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, said: ‘Although the committee wisely steered the most severe cuts away from individual park budgets, funding at this level could reduce next year’s seasonal ranger presence by as many as 600 positions. The cliff is coming sooner than people think.’ The impact of past budget cuts and underfunding are already being felt in park after park:
“Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area struggling to repair the damage caused by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, our most-visited national park, unable to hire seasonal rangers or perform urgent repairs. Yellowstone National Park able to offer ranger-led educational and interpretive programs to only 6% of its visitors.
“On top of recent annual cuts to national park funding, the Park Service is still threatened with additional, drastic cuts of 8% to 10% if Congress allows across-the-board funding cuts to take effect in January. When it comes to the national parks, our elected leaders just aren’t paying attention.
“Can you help us reach our online goal of raising $10,000 by July 31? Your tax-deductible gift will fuel our efforts to do everything we can to turn the tide on more cuts to national park funding, as well as further all of our other park protection efforts.
“You may know one-third of the top 25 U.S. tourism destinations are national parks … and that park attendance rose to nearly 300 million in recent years. But did you know a recent NPCA study found that every dollar invested in national parks generates more than four dollars for neighboring communities?
“In fact, in 2010 alone, the National Park System contributed more than $31 billion to local economies and supported 258,000 jobs . . . a huge return on a very small—less than one-tenth of one percent of the federal budget—investment.With your support, NPCA serves as the ‘watchdog’ of our parks . . . safeguarding our natural and cultural heritage through effective grassroots advocacy . . . solid working relationships with lawmakers and federal agencies . . . scientific research . . . a strong field presence and close cooperation with park management and staff . . . and targeted litigation. The challenges are formidable, but no organization is better equipped to meet them than NPCA.
“Together, we can leave our children and grandchildren a park system that represents the very best of all of us.That’s why I hope you’ll give as generously as you can to help us reach our goal. Thank you for everything you do to protect the parks.”
That is all well and good, but here is the reply I sent:
“in indiana this past year around thanksgiving, our 21 state parks closed twice so that deer and their families could be slaughtered thus my interest in parks is nil at this point…
“explain how closing parks to human families to slay deer families is great education for children? help? all the self-serving rationalizations for this mass slaughter are totally ridiculous, and deer reproduce to compensate for the culling which is exactly what DNR officials and hunters and retail hunting gear outlets want.
“let’s be solving this horror ….than I’ll get on board but not a moment before. ~ Susie Sexton”
…will keep you posted…
i could blog until i am blue in the face…greased pig contests this week with gangs of “kids” and teens running after piglets and pressing them against fences until they can “wrestle” each animal into a tire??? a calf which went into shock when a “cowboy”, at an imported rodeo a few blocks from my house, fell on top of it? then pulled this way and that and finally yanked away by its tail…not to mention the auctioning off of animals for slaughter TODAY…and i better not say a thing? thanks for letting me speak the obvious here. heart-breaking to sanction this kind of activity for our youth and then quote bible verses and sing gospel songs in a gospel tent? wishing i were making this up…but it is still going on today. HOW TRAGIC…TOTALLY TRAGIC.
…we should be ashamed that we disregard life over here like we seem to be doing…like we are doing. arghhh.
From Yuka Yamashita: “my dear friend Susie, thank you for everything you always do for animals who need help for life!! I respect and adore you! 🙂 you are so very special to me and for them.”