Monday, June 27, 2016

Are Pennsylvania lawmakers ready to sell out state parks?

David Masur, director of the advocacy organization PennFuture, just posted the following alert:

Our state parks are the crown jewel of Pennsylvania’s great outdoors. From Ricketts Glen to Presque Isle to Ohiopyle—our state parks add immeasurable value to Pennsylvania’s incredible natural heritage.

Yet as you read this email, politicians in Harrisburg are fast-tracking legislation that could open up our state parks to the highest bidder. This proposal, House Bill 2013, would create a new steering committee dominated by political and business interests instead of conservation, recreation and ecological protection. 

And if passed, it could lead to state parklands being razed and replaced with office buildings, golf courses and other intrusive development projects that will inevitably destroy the scenic and wild beauty that we cherish in Pennsylvania’s state parks. 

This vote could happen as early as TODAY. Email your state senator and representative now and tell them to oppose legislation that may open the door to selling our state parks to the highest bidder.

With more than 120 state parks—at least one park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian—these public lands are our pride and joy. Yet House Bill 2013 sends our parks down the slippery slope of privatizing and destroying them for private gain. Our public lands shouldn’t feed the pocketbooks of such interests. 

Plus, the agency that oversees our parks already has the ability to review proposals for private ventures—such as concession sales and other services that make our parks more accessible and enjoyable. But HB2013 would put the power into the hands of the corporate interests —not the scientists and experts at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) whose entire role is to protect our public lands.

So help us protect our parks before it’s too late—email your state legislators today and ask them to oppose this sneak attack on our state parks. 

Our state parks are public lands owned by and entrusted to the people of Pennsylvania—not the highest bidder who cares only about how to make a buck at the expense of our treasured parks.

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