It’s not about National Parks

On Feb. 16, the Methow Valley received some wonderful news. The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, announced the selection of 15 priority areas to receive funding to address the backlog of trail maintenance in our national forests and grasslands. The Methow Valley Ranger District in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest was one of the 15 areas named.

This news was shared recently by Congressman Dan Newhouse in his latest newsletter. He mentions “Not only will this increase access to our beautiful public lands, but it will benefit local economies and create local jobs.” I’m not sure how many local jobs will be created but it will certainly benefit our local economies.

For those of you who don’t receive Congressman Newhouse’s newsletter, here are a couple more quotes. “As you may know, the National Park Service manages and maintains all of the National Parks throughout the country, but NPS currently faces an enormous maintenance backlog, which negatively affects the public’s access to roads, trails, and visitor facilities.” Also, “Being named a priority area means the Methow Valley Ranger District, which is widely used by recreationists, families, and visitors from out of state, will be on top of the list for improvements as NPS works to clear its backlog.”

Congressman Newhouse seems to be shockingly unaware that the National Park Service has nothing to do with the announcement made by Secretary Perdue.

Perdue is Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service is one of the USDA’s agencies. The National Park Service is part of the Department of the Interior, headed by Ryan Zinke. The announcement of the Methow Ranger District being one of the 15 finalists comes from the Department of Agriculture, not the Department of the Interior.

Makes me wonder how many of Newhouse’s other statements are filled with misinformation.

Patti Nordby