Trump’s Forest Service is “lacking” in authority to protect America’s public lands and resources

Trump’s Forest Service is “lacking” in authority to protect America’s public lands and resources

California spends billions rebuilding burned towns. The case for calling it quits.

The National Park Service is on the mend. The agency’s budget has increased seven-fold since it was cut in 2015, thanks in part to a new deal to save the Grand Canyon. That deal is scheduled to expire in December.

Meanwhile, it’s time to reassess the Park Service. Its mission has outlived its original purpose. The service is charged with conserving America’s natural wonders, but, like many federal agencies, it’s focused on the past, not the present.

“Our vision as a nation for American conservation is a great future with a clean and wild landscape,” President Trump said in his April 2017 presidential campaign kickoff speech. He promised to “make our great, great, beautiful, pristine national parks great again.”

Trump’s commitment to preservation has a long way to go, though. A new federal report finds that the Trump administration is undoing more than 50 rules to protect America’s public lands than the previous administration had implemented. The report, issued by the U.S. Forest Service, finds that the Trump administration put 33 more rules on “hold or put on hold,” including ones that protect the public, stream, wildlife, and parks. The Trump administration has put on hold more new rules than any administration in the past 22 years. As a result, the report finds that the Forest Service has issued more rules than all predecessors combined, for the first time ever. The Trump administration has also spent $26,100 to reverse the previous administration’s rules, including reversal costs ranging between $3,000 and $7,000 per rule.

Even more troubling, the report finds that Forest Service managers are “lacking” in authority to protect public lands and resources. The Forest Service is “not adequately staffed to carry out the mission and duties of the public lands that it serves.” As a result, it cannot adequately protect America’s public lands and resources.

“It is no coincidence that the Trump administration has taken steps to remove public rule-making authority from the Forest Service, but is also attempting to eliminate protections for the public and places they use and depend on every day,” writes the report. In fact, the number

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