Conservation America

National parks are places of curiosity and awe. If you’ve ever been to one, surely you’ll agree we need to keep protecting these treasures.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of one of America’s best ideas: the National Park Service, which manages everything from the iconic Grand Canyon to the beautiful Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Credit: Grand Canyon National Park via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

America’s national parks should be protected, not shortchanged

Our parks, forests and public lands are a big part of what makes this country so great. They’re where we go to spend time outdoors with our families and friends, to hike, bike, fish and see wild animals.

Credit: Grand Canyon National Park via Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Yet instead of helping to protect and preserve our parks and other special places for our kids and future generations, some leaders in Congress have other ideas.

Some members of Congress are exerting their influence to convince the administration to mine for uranium right outside the Grand Canyon and drill for oil and gas near the Everglades.

Credit: ENERGY.GOV via Flickr, Public Domain

Mining and drilling are both wildly polluting, and would threaten the wildlife that call the Grand Canyon and the Everglades home — and they go against the very idea of protecting our most special places.

While it’s bad enough our parks are under threat and getting shortchanged on funding, some in Congress are actually trying to sell off our parks to the highest bidder.

Together, we can protect the Grand Canyon, the Everglades and other national parks for generations to come, so that our children can experience the same wonder that we have.

Credit: Mike Peters/Shutterstock

A legacy we can all be proud of                                                                      

We are banding together to stop these threats so that on the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, we can make a commitment to preserve these special places for kids growing up today.

Your support makes it possible for our staff to conduct research, make our case to the media, reach out to critical constituencies, and persuade our leaders to make the right choices.

Credit: fredlyfish4 via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0

Issue updates

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'Encouraging'

State and local officials are "cautiously optimistic" about an ongoing environmental review that so far has found "no impacts would occur" that would prevent the Federal Aviation Administration from issuing a permit to SpaceX for rocket operations in South Texas. 
 
An Austin-based environmental group last year began an online petition drive to stop SpaceX from building a launchpad in Cameron County near Brownsville.

Environment Texas said the rocket launches would endanger wildlife in the Boca Chica beach area, the site SpaceX, known also as Space Exploration Technologies, is considering in Texas.
 
"I love the space program and would love to have a spaceport in the Brownsville area, but doing it in the middle of a wildlife refuge is just crazy," said Luke Metzger, Environment Texas director, in an interview last year. Metzer, added he had not seen the proposed site near Boca Chica beach.

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Draft report studies impacts of Texas launch site

A proposed rocket site in South Texas won't significantly disrupt endangered species if officials take precautions such as avoiding launches during times the animals are most active, according to a federal study.

The only environmental group to announce its opposition shortly after the proposal went public was Austin-based Environment Texas.

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South Texas Spaceport receives boost

Federal regulators have released a preliminary report that says California-based SpaceX can launch rockets from a proposed site near Brownsville without devastating the sensitive environment around Boca Chica beach as long as the company takes steps to protect several endangered species, the water supply and plant life.

Last year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sent a letter to the FAA outlining its concerns with the project. Environment Texas also launched a petition to stop the proposed construction of the spaceport, citing concerns wildlife could face from "noise, heat, vibration, fencing and hazardous material spills."

"We're certainly not opposing the idea of a spaceport in Texas, but we think that spot could be a danger to the sensitive environment," said Luke Metzger, director of the environmental-advocacy group.

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Highlights from the Texas Capitol

The politically forbidden piggybank of the Texas Legislature may soon be cracked wide open. And surprisingly, Republicans are holding the hammer.

Abandoning resistance to seek financial solace in the state Rainy Day Fund, Senate Republicans unveiled a plan Thursday to spend $6 billion for water and road projects, which have taken on new urgency during this 140-day session that is nearIng a Final sprint.

Environmentalists are calling on the Texas Legislature to restore funding for a program that provides grants to local parks.

The League of Conservation Voters and Environment Texas on Thursday said it still wasn't too late to restore the Texas Parks and Wildlife Program that lawmakers cut in 2011.

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Environmentalists urge park funding

The League of Conservation Voters and Environment Texas on Thursday said it still wasn't too late to restore the Texas Parks and Wildlife Program that lawmakers cut in 2011.

ocal parks and pools are funded mostly through local sales taxes, but since 1979 Parks and Wildlife has provided cities and counties with $390 million in grants.

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