Analysis & Comment

Opinion | Don’t Lease Our Treasured Parklands

To the Editor:

Re “Trump Fracking Boom Imperils Landscape of American West” (front page, Oct. 28):

Our national parks are protected for all of us, forever. Yet what legacy is this administration leaving for our children and grandchildren when it threatens our treasured lands with industrial oil and gas development?

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke must not lease first and ask questions later. This administration should reclaim tools to meet our energy needs without sacrificing our heritage.

Smart planning helped preserve the $294 million tourism economy near Arches and Canyonlands while allowing development to continue where appropriate, when business owners and community members, Park Service leaders and conservationists, tribes and other stakeholders helped shape a plan. When the administration listens only to industry, the rest of us lose.

Secretary Zinke still has time to pivot to conservation, but the clock is ticking, and the future of our irreplaceable parks and public lands remains in the balance.

Theresa Pierno
The writer is president and chief executive of the National Parks Conservation Association.

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