President Donald Trump has directed National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis to cut the budget for the National Park Service’s budget by 5 percent in response to government funding cuts proposed by the House and Senate.
Cuts being recommended to the National Park Service’s budget include eliminating the $1.5 million in grants, funding the partnerships with community groups and eliminating a program to aid the budget in the long term.
However, Director Jarvis said the service “has the skills and expertise to operate with these reduced resources.” The National Park Service’s budget has been cut significantly in the last few years. In 2017, it was cut 13 percent and this year it will be cut another 7 percent.
Conservationists feel that the Parks’ budget could be increased if the Park Service budget was dedicated to projects that were really needed. Certain portions of the cuts were blamed on the idea that some parks want to spend their money on improved bathrooms rather than restoration of monuments and facilities.
The San Gabriel & San Gabriel Mountains National Monument was established by President Bill Clinton and aims to preserve this “desert of the mountains” for the long term and is only surrounded by the Angeles National Forest. The park, which exists just above the Mojave and San Jacinto deserts, has not been given official “protected status.” Last year, the Presidential Commission for the San Gabriel Mountains was set up with the purpose of giving the park full status. According to Neil Pearson, chairman of the nine member commission, the commission was created so that the park could receive extra funding.
Pearson also told The Wall Street Journal that it was important that the Federal Government developed a management plan for the monument so that it can receive funds. He stated that with adequate funding, the monument could add more trails, lighting and ranger stations to improve visitor services.
Much of the money that flows into the national park system from the U.S. Treasury, taxes, funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park Service has been subject to cuts over the past few years. In the years from 2012 to 2014, the Park Service’s budget was cut by more than $190 million. But from the end of 2015 through the end of 2017, the reduction had only been about $8 million. The 3 percent proposal would yield an additional $21 million.
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