New National Park Service guidelines will emphasize conservation

Today, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne will announce new National Park Service management guidelines that emphasize … wait for it … conservation. Wha-huh? The new regulations more or less disregard revisions proposed a year ago under previous Interior Secretary Gale Norton that would have expanded motorized recreation; instead, they’re modeled on more nature-lovin’ park-management policies that have been in place for 90 years. The new guidelines do not allow increased use of jet skis, snowmobiles, or off-road vehicles in national parks, nor do they favor commercial activities like mining and cell-phone-tower construction. They allow the Park Service to push the U.S. EPA to clean up park air pollution. The only sop to the recreation industry is an assurance that the communities that neighbor large national parks, which often have recreation-based economies, will have a role in park management decision-making. You da man, Dirk.