Linda J. Bilmes’s July 27 op-ed on the national parks finally getting their financial due (“Who is rescuing America’s national parks? Trump”) is probably more of a “dream” than she realizes. Trusting groveling congressional Republicans from the Western states and their promises to fund the parks after 40 years of the party hijacking the money needed to operate our parks properly is not something to take to the bank and celebrate.
That $12 billion maintenance backlog Bilmes cites is mostly due to Republican shenanigans with previously appropriated funds, and I predict that a good deal of this fabulous new cash she applauds will never see a redwood, maintained trail, rushing river, or new visitor center.
If these so-called bipartisan hypocrites get elected because they suddenly claim to have found conservation religion, please know that they will soon slither back to their old ways of treating parks, forests, and wildlife as little more than good public relations when they happen to want their picture taken with a ranger.
Trust the Trump administration and its enablers with one of the greatest pieces of Americana? Have you not been paying attention the last four years?
Richard B. Tourangeau
The writer worked for the National Park Service from 1983 to 2012 and has visited more than 200 park sites since 1973.