Trump Budget Would Harm National Parks And the Protection of God’s Other Creatures

A Statement by the Rev. Mitch Hescox

President/CEO of the Evangelical Environmental Network

public_lands.jpgThe Trump Administration’s budget, if implemented, would be an abdication of our stewardship of our public lands, which are entrusted to each generation to pass on to their children.

It proposes a devil’s bargain to create an $18 billion fund to pay for the nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog at our National Parks, along with more funding for Native American schools. These would be laudable proposals, except that the money comes from more oil and gas drilling, resulting in more pollution. It also proposes to gut environmental protections that help ensure development is done responsibly.

We must address the maintenance backlog and provide proper funding for Native American schools, but not at the cost of our stewardly virtue.

The Trump budget attempts a sleight of hand by wowing us with this $18 billion devil’s bargain, while simultaneously cutting vital programs and jobs related to our National Parks and public lands. These cuts could result in the loss of 1,200 full-time staff.

The Administration also proposes it be given the authority to sell off public lands “to improve the overall allocation of economic resources in infrastructure investment.” In other words, President Trump would have us repair our bridges by selling our public lands.

Not only do they want to sell our public lands, they want to effectively kill the best program we have for increasing them, the Land and Water Conservation Fund or LWCF. It’s budget would be cut by 90 percent.

Finally, the Trump budget would significantly hinder our ability to protect God’s endangered creatures by cutting the endangered species program by 47%, and the Fish and Wildlife Service by nearly 20 percent. For over 20 years EEN has stood up for God’s other creatures, and so we oppose such cuts strenuously.

As we said, in these areas the Trump budget represents and abdication of stewardship, and we call upon Congress to reject it.

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  • commented 2018-03-26 11:19:23 -0400
    Maybe you should be preaching The Gospel and pointing out that it is futile to try block the machinations of the money men in these last days?
  • commented 2018-03-06 03:18:27 -0500
    First off I am a bit shocked that this group is standing with the idea of protecting our National Parks, and endangered species. It has been the hard right’s position that we have a god given right to take from nature as we see fit, “that god gave man dominance over nature” has been the idea that most Christians seem to support. I am pleased to see that to some degree I may be mistaken. I hope and pray that this support includes the idea that Carbon Dioxide is a source of pollution and the our disregard to nature’s needs for balance is the driving cause to us humans to warming the climate. I will by saying when the Bible speaks that the meek shall inherit the earth, what most Christians fail at understanding is in the eyes of god, this meek, may well be the microscopic world of microbes that live in our soil for in our arrogance as a species under President Trump we are now on course to proceed with the next great extinction of life on this earth. Very very few people understand that from the eye of God, time is not linear. If we in our selfishness destroy this earth, the microbes will not die, and life will spring forth again. A sin of biblical proportion. Let me close by saying to you when the Bible speaks that in my father’s house there are many rooms, it has become clearer that heaven and hell are real and that it is our soul that lives on and moves into a future reality (ye shall be born again) that supports or rewards us for our deeds in this life. Live your life supporting evil, your next reality will be filled with more evil, until your spirit simply burns up. On the other hand, live your life in positive concert with creation, and with love, you at the time of death move on to a heavenly world. What am I saying? The heaven or hell that awaits you, is very real, your soul will travel into other worlds that amplify what is in your heart. In short in the words of Etta Perdue Ellis, “The good men of all religions will die and go to heaven, while the bad men of all religions will die and go to hell.” “Its that simple, David”