The Case for Handing National Park Control Back to the States

October 5, 2013

Obama’s infantile acts of tyranny should lead to a permanent change in the designation of “national landmarks” from that of federal oversight, to state and local control.


There are few things as surreal as metal barricades separating people from the natural wonders in their own backyards. Here in Western Colorado, the Colorado National Monument, a rugged region of red rock canyons, spires, and dramatic vistas,  is as ubiquitous as juniper trees and collared lizards, but has been cordoned off by agents of the federal government. The idea that red and yellow barricades can be placed at the entrances to this corner of our home seems absurd.

The government shutdown–which is in fact a temporary suspension of a handful of services offered by the Federal Government–is the excuse for barricades to our National Parks and monuments, historical sites, museums, and other public treasures, large and small. But these sites are scattered across the country, and in reality, have little relationship to the workings of Washington D.C.  Many, if not most, are run largely by private interests and donor endowments. The National Park Service may oversee certain functions within the parks, but the bulk of the work is often done by volunteers. These sites, shuttered by federal thugs and guarded by well-paid sentries, belong to the people of this nation, and specifically, to those who live next to them and whose recreation and livelihoods are directly effected by them. Blocking access to parks, monuments, and other historical and geological treasures is completely contrary to the original purpose of the National Park System, which was to encourage appreciation for the gems of our American heritage.

The larger the footprint of the Federal Government, the more of American life is stepped on by it. The Obama Administration, in a paroxysm of indignation, is determined to prevent citizens from seeing, touching, and enjoying those things that were created by individual Americans; explorers, developers, artisans, inventors, frontiersmen, and military heroes. Obama’s infantile acts of tyranny should lead to a permanent change in the designation of “national landmarks” from that of federal oversight, to state and local control. And this is the case for handing national park control back to We the People:

I will challenge any Representative or Senator in the United States Congress to introduce a bill such as the “National Treasure Protection Act of 2013 (NTPA).” The act will consists of a number of measures that will effectually nullify the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916, and devolve control and oversight of the National Park System to the states.

There is no question that removing our national treasures, such as parks, monuments, museums, cemeteries, memorials, etc. from the control of the Federal Government would be a legislatively challenging. But if there has ever been a time in our history that illustrates the need for such a devolving of power back to the states, it is now.  The Federal Government does now own our national treasures, we do.

by Marjorie Haun  10/5/13

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