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Bush neglects parks

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Thanks for the recent story on penny-pinching by the Bush administration when it comes to funding our National Park Service (NPS) (HCN, 8/16/04: National parks pinching pennies). The budget shortfalls that are being forced on the NPS by the White House are just one more of the many examples of how Bush is hell-bent on letting our beautiful national treasures be torn apart by neglect, misuse and outright hostility toward the environment in general.

As one of the hundreds of Sierra Club and California Desert Protection League members who fought for and won additional protection in 1994 for then-Death Valley National Monument under the California Desert Protection Act (CDPA), I am outraged that there is still not even a draft wilderness management plan for Death Valley National Park! It is indeed a hollow victory if we who love the land cannot count on the NPS to protect the millions of acres of wilderness created by the CDPA. This is not the fault of the many dedicated professionals at the NPS, but an intentional underfunding by the White House, in order to allow the continuation of the very activities — such as off-road vehicle use — the CDPA was meant to prevent.

Don Kimball
Las Vegas, Nevada

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