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

News Release | Environment Texas

Ethan Hawke Stars in Short Film on Texas Parks Crisis

AUSTIN, TX -Environment Texas released a short film today highlighting the funding crisis in the Texas state parks system. Narrated by two-time Oscar nominee and Texas native Ethan Hawke, the film reveals a magnificent parks system beleaguered by lay-offs, dilapidated infrastructure, and proposals to sell or close as many as 18 parks. Hawke joined Environment Texas in calling on the Legislature to approve House Bill 6, which would increase funding for state and local parks by more than $90 million. AUSTIN, TX -Environment Texas released a short film today highlighting the funding crisis in the Texas state parks system. Narrated by two-time Oscar nominee and Texas native Ethan Hawke, the film reveals a magnificent parks system beleaguered by lay-offs, dilapidated infrastructure, and proposals to sell or close as many as 18 parks. Hawke joined Environment Texas in calling on the Legislature to approve House Bill 6, which would increase funding for state and local parks by more than $90 million.
“I was born in Texas and some of my best childhood memories are of camping in Texas parks with my dad, where he taught me all about the outdoors and showed me some of Texas’ most amazing natural areas,” said Ethan Hawke. “It’s appalling that the Texas Legislature has let the parks go without even the minimal support needed to maintain them.”
Hawke was born in Austin and grew up around Fort Worth, where his father took him camping and shooting at Eagle Mountain Lake. His grandfather Howard L. Green served in the Texas House of Representatives for ten years and was Tarrant County judge for another eight years.  Environment Texas is a statewide citizens’ advocacy organization based in Austin and is working to get the Texas Legislature to create sustainable and substantial funding for the Texas parks system.
“With the right commitment from our politicians, Texas could have the world-class park system that we deserve. We owe it to our children, our neighbors and ourselves to preserve these vital parts of Texas history and keep just a little bit of Texas wild,” said Hawke.
From the desert wilderness of Big Bend Ranch State Park, to the bayous and live oaks of Brazos Bend State Park, the Texas state parks are home to some of the most breathtaking views in America. The parks also help protect drinking water supplies, wildlife habitats, and provide countless recreational opportunities.
While the overall state budget increased by 68 percent between 1990 and 2003, the Legislature slashed spending on state parks by 34 percent. Today, Texas is ranked 49th in the nation for spending on state parks. The cuts have forced the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to lay off dozens of park rangers, close campgrounds, cancel plans to acquire environmentally sensitive lands and provide grants to local parks. In 2005, the agency even considered selling part of Big Bend Ranch State Park to raise additional funds. TPWD has announced that a new round of proposed cuts would mean the agency would have to close 18 state parks.
The movie can be viewed at www.EnvironmentTexas.org/center and at www.youtube.com.
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http://www.environmenttexas.org/newsroom/preservation/preservation-campa...

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News Release | Environment Texas

Local Parks Contribute Billions To Texas Economy Says New Report by Economist Ray Perryman

AUSTIN –A new analysis by Texas economist Dr. Ray Perryman finds that local parks in Texas contribute more than $5.5 billion to Texas’ economy and create more than 38,000 jobs. A coalition of parks directors and business and environmental leaders from across the state used the report’s conclusions to call on the Legislature to increase funding for parks by passing HB6 and SB252.

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News Release | Environment Texas

Environment Texas Launches "State Parks Express" RV to Call on Legislature to Fully Fund Texas Parks

AUSTIN- Today, Environment Texas launched a 1250 mile road trip of their “State Parks Express” RV to draw attention to the Legislature’s continuing failure to give adequate funding to Texas’ state and local parks. The RV, which will travel to Midland, Lubbock, Amarillo, Waco and College Station, will stop outside the office of the local legislator and invite local citizens to come out for a “weenie roast for the parks.”

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News Release | Environment Texas

New Report Warns That Many Texas Natural Areas Are Threatened With Development

AUSTIN - With the Texas House expected to approve a parks funding bill today, Environment Texas released a new report warning that many biologically important natural areas in Texas are threatened with development. The group used the report’s findings to call on the Legislature to appropriate at least $15 million per year to acquire threatened natural areas and protect them as state parks. Environment Texas also called on the Legislature not to eliminate park discounts for school, church and scout groups, as may be required in the current budget.

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News Release | Environment Texas

Victory on Parks

Today, on the final day of the Legislature, the Texas House of Representatives approved HB 12, which ensures that a substantial funding increase for parks provided for in the state budget can move forward.

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