FORMER PARK OFFICIALS BLAST BUSH ON NEGLECT OF NATIONAL PARKS - Mitch Perry

06/28/04

This afternoon, several former National Park officials criticized the Bush Adminstration

For what they said was their failure to protect America's National Parks.

The Conference Call was facilitated by the John Kerry campaign, but most of those officials making public comments stressed their previous lack of participating in politics......

That was not the case for former Arizona Governor and Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who said - because of budget cuts, American families - and especially children - will NOT be able to have the same experiences in America's parks as he and so many others have (roll tape#1 o.q."the fact is, they haven't done it")

Rob Arnberger worked in the Park Service for 34 years, including being the former Superintendant at the Grand Canyon National Park...(roll tape#2 o.q."there has to be")

Jim Coleman was the Superintendant at various parks...He says he's seen a lot in the Park Service...He says what bothers him the most right now is outsourcing

(roll tape#3 o.q."other things")

Coleman says he's also bothered by the suppression of free speech on Park grounds (roll tape#4 o.q."in many cases")

Mike Finley is a former Superintendant at Yellowstone National Park...He says he's worked under 6 different Presidents over the past 3 decades, is a registered Independent, but had the worst professional experience in the half year he worked for the Bush Administration (roll tape#4 o.q."including national parks")

The participants said that Americans looking to recreate in America's great Parks over the next couple of months may be in a for a rude disappointment when they realize what is happening at the Parks.

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