PEER Charges Secrecy in Denials of National Park System Status to 3 Trails

July 25, 2012

The watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is charging the National Park Service with secrecy over its decision to deny 3 national trails official status as units of the National Park System. The three are the North Country, Ice Age, and New England Trails.

The long and complex dispute over "unit" status for the three trails was elevated on April 28, 2010, when some 22 congressional leaders from both parties wrote NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis, supporting unit status. Jarvis replied May 27, 2012, promising that a work group would consider the matter and make recommendations. Now PEER is accusing the NPS of duplicity because, it says, the work group was never allowed to make recommendations, the NPS director made an unannounced unilateral decision to deny the three trails unit status, and proceeded to try to write that substantive decision into law via a purportedly nonsubstantive housekeeping revision of the US Code.