In the 20th century, awareness grew that we needed a system of national parks so that all Americans could learn about and enjoy our country’s bountiful resources. Several laws were passed to conserve and protect these special places, designated as national parks, for future generations. One of these laws was the National Parks and Recreation Act (NPRA) passed in 1978, which reaffirmed our country’s commitment to preserving the relics of our past while conserving our natural and historical resources. President Carter signed this legislation into law, describing it as "the most significant conservation legislation to pass the 95th Congress.”
The NPRA provides funds to expand National Parks through land acquisition, makes significant improvements to existing parks, and identifies segments of several rivers for protection under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. It also designated 1,974,005 acres in eight National Parks as wildernesses.
The NPRA 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). Does waiving the NPRA affect our borderlands? The answer is yes. The NPRA established 312,600 acres of wilderness in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and set the stage for the additions that now comprise 95% of the Monument. By waiving the NPRA, the Department of Homeland Security no longer recognizes Organ Pipe as wilderness at the border, nullifying the protections afforded to wildernesses. The NPRA also designated a segment of the Rio Grande River, part of which serves as the boundary between the U.S. and Mexico, as a wild and scenic river. The waiver of the NPRA “undoes” that designation—that segment of the river no longer has the special protections afforded to wild and scenic rivers.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members) and let them know that you oppose waiving The National Parks and Recreation Act to expedite construction of a border wall. Click here if you would like to make a donation to help us fight the border wall.