So there you have it: The Park Service can cure obesity and diabetes. Come to think of it, Smokey Bear is a little on the chunky side.
Save Smokey! Transfer him to the Park Service!
Columnist Miller decides to check this out by looking at recent appropriation bills:
Because the two agencies are funded through the same subcommittee, comparing their fiscal resources is straightforward. Consider their total budget authorities for 2012: the Park Service secured $2,579,600,000; the Forest Service's take was $4,595,300,000. Does this substantial disparity in the agencies' funding -- two billion dollars -- suggest that the Park Service is the relative fat cat? Or that the Forest Service is a rib-thin cow, always the last to muzzle up to the trough†? It beggars the imagination that anyone can make this claim, let alone report it, with a straight face. That face gets even harder to maintain after reading over the proposed 2013 budget, which was reported out of the Appropriations Committee in late June; while there is a stopgap funding measure in place until March 2013, the House appropriators' proposal for the rest of the year would bless the Forest Service with a two-percent budgetary increase, adding $86 million to its coffers. This boost was less than President Obama had proposed, but among its land-management peers -- the Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Park Service -- only the Forest Service has secured a bump over last year. By contrast, the Park Service received a curious pat-on-the-back. Observing that the agency "will be 100 years old in 2016," and applauding its "historic ten-year effort to enhance the national parks leading up to this historic celebration," the committee offered its continued support for "this effort and the $2,445,198,000 recommended will help the Service prepare for a second century of conservation, environmental stewardship and recreation benefiting millions of visitors from throughout the world. In spite of extraordinary fiscal challenges, the Committee has provided funding sufficient to manage NPS units nationwide without disruptions to operations." That last phrase is the puzzler, for House appropriators actually cut the Park Service's budget by more than five percent from 2012. How can that be anything but disruptive? Among the hardest hit line items are two that are of particular relevance to those clamoring for the creation of a San Gabriel National Recreation Area. The NPS recreational account was slashed by 9% from the previous year; worse, according the Congressional Research Service, "most of the decrease in the bill relative to both the FY2012 appropriation and the FY2013 request would be for Land Acquisition and State Assistance." Those dreaming that the Park Service will spray a hose-full of cash on the San Gabriels and into the surrounding communities might want to damp down that fantasy.
Miller also points out the difference in approps is not that much if you figure it on an per acre basis, and the joint custody proposed by the Park Service would be confusing.
OK, but here's the deal: The Forest Service can't cure obesity and diabetes. So, hands down, any caring person would insist these lands go to the parkies.
The only chance the Forest Service has is to tell the truth and do something like:
|CAN PREVENT OBESITY|