It’s not often we get to deliver good news on a federal issue so quickly, but the response to the Department of the Interior’s plan to drastically raise fees in America’s National Parks was so overwhelming that the plan has been dropped entirely. Thanks to almost 100,000 comments against the proposal, public amenities and equal access to the outdoors won this fight. Everyone who wrote a comment, including many of you who responded to our alert, made this happen.
At Committee for Green Foothills, we value public access and the right of everyone to enjoy the natural world. Imposing the proposed fees would have worsened the existing environmental injustice of unequal access to our public open spaces. We sent out an alert in November and many of you responded, writing comments on the proposed change and advocating for just stewardship of our shared outdoor heritage. People all over California and the rest of the country raised their voices and sent their objections, and after receiving an overwhelming rejection of their fee proposal, the Department of the Interior conceded to the public demand.
It often seems as though the actions of our decision-makers are remote and irrevocable, especially those of a federal administration that has shown such repeated hostility to popular environmental programs. This victory proves that speaking up for the mountains and rivers and forests that we love is never futile; if enough of us come together in defense of environmental justice, our voices cannot be drowned out.