Republicans Push For Department of Homeland Security Takeover of National Parks
April 23, 2012
Republicans in the House are pushing to give control of at least 50 national parks within 100 miles of the US border to the Department of Homeland Security.
The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act would allow DHS to suspend any federal law on lands run by the departments of Agriculture and Interior.
A recent article published in the LA Times documents the way most Rhino conservatives will be thinking heading into the November elections.
House Republicans are backing legislation in Congress to give the Department of Homeland Security control of more than 50 national parks and forests within 100 miles of the U.S. borders, including in Washington state.
The legislation involves a sweep of land along the frontier with Canada and Mexico, but exempts state land, private property and federal holdings used for mining, livestock grazing and timber harvesting. The new authority would carve through 54 national parks.
Among the parks that would be affected are North Cascades National Park and Olympic National Park in Washington; Glacier National Park in Montana; Saguaro National Park in Arizona; and Acadia National Park in Maine. National forests along the border, and areas protected as wilderness, also could be affected.Perhaps the most startling aspect of this plan by House Republicans is the fact that it would let DHS conduct any activity or construct any facility that they claim is required to secure the border.
The National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, sponsored by conservative Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, would give Border Patrol and Customs agents and other federal officials the right to suspend any federal law, including environmental laws, on land managed by the departments of Interior and Agriculture.
It would give Homeland Security the right to conduct any activity or construct any facility required to secure the border.
Sadly, the fact remains that DHS is NOT about securing our border and giving them new powers to construct facilities in the name of border security may be a cover for a more sinister plan involving a martial law takeover and DHS/FEMA camps.For their part, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees has issued a stark warning that calls this DHS takeover plan unprecedented with the potential to devastate 54 of America’s national parks, forests, and historical sites as well as negatively effect the economy.
A PRNewsWire release from the group outlined their fears:
Legislation pending in the U.S. House of Representatives that is being falsely touted as improving U.S. border security would instead “have the potential to devastate 54 of America’s national parks, historic sites, national monuments and other popular park icons and negatively impact the nation’s economy,” according to a warning issued today by the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR).
H.R. 1505, the mistitled “National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act,” would gut a century’s worth of proven federal lands protection, potentially opening up millions of pristine acres of national parks to off-road vehicle use, road construction, air strips and helipads, fencing, base installations, and other disruptions.
This radical legislation introduced by Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) would suspend the enforcement of almost all the nation’s environmental laws on all lands under the jurisdiction of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture within 100 miles of the northern border with Canada and the southern border with Mexico.
It would change the targeted national park and other federal areas into security zones and leave priceless resources unprotected. Such dramatic changes to the integrity of our national parks and forests would almost certainly damage local economies, which have evolved to depend on the tourism, jobs, and related economic benefits generated by these national assets.
Why would families seeking the natural and cultural wonders and transformative outdoor experiences of our national parks choose to visit such Border Patrol-controlled areas criss-crossed by new roads, penetrated by noisy all-terrain vehicles, and dominated by tactical infrastructure?This apparently bogus and dangerous act, conveniently used under the guise of national security, would literally shatter environmental laws and make it even easier to construct any type of facility homeland security chooses.
This at the same time as DHS gears up for some sort of confrontation with the American people with purchases of up to 750 million .40 caliber hollow point rounds.
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