In 1872, Yellowstone National Park, the first National Park in the U.S. was created. Today there are 58 National Parks and 23 National Monuments in the U.S. The purpose of National Parks and Monuments is to conserve scenery, natural and historical objects, and wildlife, “unimpaired,” for the enjoyment of future generations.
All of the National Parks and Monuments used to be governed and regulated separately. That changed in 1970, with the passage of the National Park Service General Authorities Act (NPSGAA) amendment to the National Park Service Organic Act of of 1916. Now all National Parks and Monuments are united into our National Park System and managed by its Director. What hasn’t changed is the purpose of National Parks and Monuments—to conserve and protect these special scenic, historic, and recreational areas, unimpaired, for the enjoyment of generations to come.
The NPSGAA is one of the 48 federal laws waived to expedite construction of a border wall (click here for a list of all 48 laws that have been waived). Right now these waivers apply only in the vicinity of the proposed border wall. But a number of bills have been introduced by Congress to extend the geographic scope of the waiver from the northern and southern borders to all four borders (east and west coasts included), and from the immediate border area to 100-300 miles in every direction from the border.
How could these border extensions affect the Sonoran Desert? The Sonoran Desert National Monument (home to many Sonoran Desert species including some threatened or endangered ones) is located within that extended range from the Mexican border. If the extensions are passed by Congress, the Sonoran Desert National Monument will no longer be protected by the NPSGAA, allowing the natural resources and wildlife in this monument to be damaged, disturbed or even destroyed, without legal consequence.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members) and let them know that you oppose waiving The National Park Service General Authorities Act to expedite construction of a border wall, and you oppose extending the geographic reach of the waivers. Click here if you would like to make a donation to help us fight the border wall.