Donald Trump is a hypocrite and even conservative outdoor groups know it.
America’s greatest and most enduring treasure is its National Parks. Conservation of these lands started under Republican President Theodore Roosevelt and has continued to this day as every president has created new National Parks to preserve natural wonders for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.
But Donald Trump is on a mission to destroy everything that is good in this country and one of his targets are the very National Parks that millions of Americans visit every year.
Trump’s 2018 budget slashes funding for the Interior Department, which includes the National Park Service, by $2 billion and he has signed an executive order making it easier for mining and drilling to occur in and around the parks.
In short, Trump doesn’t want to give the National Park Service the money to protect the parks and he wants to let oil companies pollute them.
Despite these facts, Trump had the gall to pretend that he loves our National Parks and that he wants to protect them.
In a proclamation issued on Friday, Trump declared that protecting America’s national parks is important to him and his administration.
“It is a priority of my Administration to protect these magnificent lands, and to ensure all Americans have access to our national parks, as well as to other National Park Service sites, throughout the next century…It is my hope that we will pass down these natural and historic sites to our children and grandchildren.”
Again, Trump’s budget would hurt our National Parks and mining and drilling would do lasting damage to lands that are supposed to remain pristine for future generations to come.
In response to Trump’s proclamation, conservation organizations trashed his hypocrisy.
“We’re really surprised and disappointed to see the administration come after national parks this way,” senior manager for the National Park Conservation Association Nicholas Lund said. “With all that’s going on in the world, drilling in our national parks should just not be a priority.”
Even the conservative-leaning Sierra Club had strong words for Trump.
“If he actually cared about protecting our parks, he would have never proposed a budget that slashes their funding to historically low levels at a time when investments are needed to maintain America’s best idea,” executive director Michael Brune said. “Our parks and the people and economies they support need real commitments, not empty gestures.”
Indeed, our National Parks directly benefit the communities around them because of tourists, campers, hunters, photographers, and a multitude of people who desire to see America’s natural wonders, the same natural wonders that their ancestors saw years earlier.
That’s what is at stake here. The National Parks belong to the people and they should be protected for all time, not exploited.
Featured Image: Mark Wilson/Getty Images