Did the National Park Service (NPS) make it more difficult than it had to for the public during the recently-concluded government shutdown? Republican members of Congress with a long history of bashing the Obama administration and who forced the shutdown think that NPS did.
At a joint hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 16 of the House Natural Resources (NR) and Oversight & Government Reform committees, NR Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) slammed NPS, saying its “policies have been arbitrary, inconsistent and ever changing. Their actions appear to be motivated by two things: 1) An attempt to make the shutdown as painful and visible as possible, and 2) Because of the backlash, an attempt to squash the ensuing bad” public relations.
You can read the hearing testimony at naturalresources.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=353410.
Hastings slammed NPS for erecting barricades around national monuments that are normally open 24/7 every day of the year.
NPS Superintendent Jon Jarvis defended the action, saying most park service employees had been furloughed and NPS didn't retain enough staff to ensure public safety and protection of the monuments.