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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez @AOC on Green Justice New Deal The City Project, GreenLatinos, CA LULAC, The Praxis Project

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discussed a Green Justice New Deal with The City Project, GreenLatinos, CA LULAC, and The Praxis Project in her office on the Hill.

The New Deal, Nature’s New Deal the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the 2007 failed Green New Deal largely excluded or marginalized people of color. We’ll do better together.
Dear Representative Ocasio-Cortez:

Congratulations on your election to Congress, and becoming a national leader on social justice, democracy, and livability for all. We write to you on behalf of The Praxis Project, California League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC), GreenLatinos, and The City Project. We are eager to work with you to better serve frontline communities through a Green Justice New Deal in the following ways.

A. The Framework for a Green Justice New Deal

First, people of color and low income people are consistently the voters for and supporters of environmental and climate protections. They suffer first and worst from health vulnerabilities, exposure to toxics and pollution, lack of green access to healthy active parks and recreation, housing segregation, and lack of quality green jobs and contracts. Yet, they remain consistently marginalized and ignored by elected officials, government agencies, mainstream environmental organizations, foundations, corporations, and the media. We see this already in the public conversation about a green new deal. That is why there is a civil rights, environmental justice, and health equity movement seeking equal justice, democracy, and livability for all.

Those facts are extensively documented. The solutions are too. Green Latinos, The Praxis Project, and The City Project, A Framework for Civil Rights, Environmental Justice, and Health Equity (2018).[1] See generally Naomi Klein, This Changes Everything (2014).

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine cites the following analytic framework as a best practice for ensuring environmental justice, health equity, climate justice, and community resilience.[2] It is based on good policy and sound law.

  1. Describe what you plan to do.

Here, develop a Green Justice New Deal.

  1. Include affected communities at every step of the process, including people of color, low income people, and other traditionally marginalized communities.
  2. Analyze benefits and burdens on all people.
    1. Numerical differences and disparities are generally the starting point for analysis.
    2. Numerical disparities can be shown through statistical studies, demographic analyses, GIS mapping, surveys, historical analyses, anecdotal evidence, cumulative impacts, and other information.
    3. Follow the money: who benefits, and who gets left behind?
    4. Standards and publicly available data are necessary to measure progress and equity, and hold public officials accountable.
    5. Consider the values at stake. For example: public health, human development, fun, and healthy recreation; climate justice and conservation; culture, history and art; and economic vitality, including quality jobs, housing, and green displacement. Equal justice and democratic governance underlie these other values.
  3. Analyze alternatives to what is planned.
  4. Develop an implementation plan and distribute benefits and burdens equitably, avoiding discrimination.

Discrimination includes unjustified discriminatory impacts regardless of intent, intentional discrimination, implicit bias, and systemic discrimination – or “business as usual.”[3]

B. Nature’s New Deal Failed People of Color and Women

There already was a “Green New Deal;” it was called the Civilian Conservation Corps. While it improved the environment for people who were disproportionately non-Hispanic white from 1933 to 1942, it marginalized or excluded people of color and women. The CCC employed 3 million young men, planted 2 billion trees – more than half of all the trees planted in the United States up until that time – slowed soil erosion on 40 million acres of farmland, and developed 800 new state parks. Visits to National Parks increased 600 percent from less than 3.5 million people in 1933, to 21 million by 1941. The rise in visitors was due to the increased facilities for recreation afforded by the completion of trails, campgrounds, roads and other projects. The work of the CCC appealed to people across the political spectrum and across class lines. The work projects appealed to foresters in the West, to farmers in the Dust Bowl and in the soil-eroded South, and to easterners who could recreate in new state and national parks. Unemployed urban youths enrolled in the program got paid, and their minds and bodies grew stronger as they learned the benefits of hard work, conservation and recreation. Working-class families received Corps paychecks every month. Business owners sold goods and services to CCC camps and rural families benefited economically from the nearby camps. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt relied on the work relief of the CCC to raise support among the American people at the local and national levels and on the political Left and Right, to knit together an ideologically diverse political constituency to support the New Deal.

The CCC discriminated against people of color, who were housed in segregated camps, faced fewer advancement opportunities, and generally were not recruited until enrollment declined among non-Hispanic white men. Women were largely excluded.[4]

C. The New Deal for White People

The New Deal overall benefited people who were disproportionately non-Hispanic white and wealthy. Prof. Ira Katznelson’s book When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America documents how New Deal policies excluded people of color and increased income and wealth disparities. A continuing legacy is that the average black family holds just 10% of the assets of the average white family. The Federal Housing Authority sanctioned racially restrictive housing covenants, for example. Robert Moses transformed New York with New Deal and other federal funds, often excluding African Americans and Puerto Ricans from housing, parks and beaches. People of color could not get many New Deal jobs. Income and wealth inequality today can be traced to these New Deal and Reagan tax cut deregulation policies.[5]

Thomas Friedman in the New York Times blithely calls for a green new deal to include “the four zeros:” 1. Zero-net energy buildings; 2. Zero-waste manufacturing; 3. A zero-carbon grid; 4. Zero-emissions transportation.[6] Reflecting why the Green New Deal failed in 2007, Friedman ignores 5. Zero discrimination, which defines the Green Justice New Deal.

D. Towards a Green Justice New Deal

There are structural obstacles to a Green Justice New Deal. The more committed to the environment, the less likely a foundation will fund social justice. While environmental funders spent $10 billion between 2000 and 2009, just 15% of those dollars benefited marginalized communities, and only 11% went to advancing social justice.[7] To help address these concerns, foundations should invest at least 25% to advance social justice—that is, policy, advocacy, and community organizing that works toward structural change on behalf of those who are the least well off politically, economically and socially, and that build on the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement. Green 2.0 after years of advocacy reports that although people of color are now almost 40% of the U.S. population, mainstream environmental organizations have not made significant progress in breaking the 16% “green ceiling.” Of full time staff from top environmental nonprofits, only 22% are people of color, down from 27% in 2017.[8] Black and Latino communities suffer from lower expenditure levels for parks and recreation by both the government and nonprofit sectors. People must mobilize and many organizations must work together in a sustained democratic movement to build a green economy.[9]

We are eager to meet with you to support and strengthen a Green Justice New Deal for all. Please let me know when you are free to meet.

Very truly yours,

Mark Magaña, Founder and President, GreenLatinos, www.greenlatinos.org

Xavier Morales, PhD, Executive Director, The Praxis Project, www.thepraxisproject.org

Yvonne Gonzalez Duncan, State Director, California LULAC, www.californialulac.com/

Robert García, Founding Director-Counsel, The City Project, www.cityprojectca.org

Mark Magaña of GreenLatinos with Representative Ocasio-Cortez

 

[1] PRRAC, Strategies for Health Equity at 45-57 (2018). www.cityprojectca.org/blog/archives/45829.

[2] National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, Committee Report: Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity (2017). One of the top five most downloaded reports released by the Academies in 2017. www.nationalacademies.org/promotehealthequity.

[3] Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity (2017). National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. nationalacademies.org/hmd/reports/2017/communities-in-action-pathways-to-health-equity.aspx.

[4] Neil M. Maher, Nature’s New Deal 43 to 76, 110, and 11-12 (2008); Paul, C. A. Civilian Conservation Corps Social Welfare History Project (2017). http://socialwelfare.library.vcu.edu/eras/great-depression/civilian-conservation-corps/.

[5] See generally Ira Katznelson, When Affirmative Action Was White 52 (2005); Ira Katznelson, Fear Itself (2013); Mike Davis, City of Quartz 160-64 (1990); Robert Caro, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York 318-19, 509-12, 513-14 (1974); Martha Biondi, Robert Moses, Race, and the Limits of an Activist State, chapter in Hilary Ballon & Kenneth T. Jackson, eds., Robert Moses and the Modern City: The Transformation of New York 116-21 (2007); Thomas Piketty, On the rise of Bernie Sanders: the US enters a new political era, The Guardian (Feb. 16, 2016). www.theguardian.com/us-news/commentisfree/2016/feb/16/thomas-piketty-bernie-sanders-us-election-2016.

[6] Thomas Friedman, The Green New Deal Rises Again, N.Y. Times, Jan. 8, 2019.

[7] See Sarah Hansen, Cultivating the Grassroots: A Winning Approach for Environment and Climate Funders (Feb. 2012, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy

[8] Green 2.0, NGO Diversity Data, https://www.diversegreen.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/NGOReport2018-2.pdf.

[9] See Sarah Hansen, Cultivating the Grassroots: A Winning Approach for Environment and Climate Funders (Feb. 2012, National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy); Theda Skopcol, Naming the Problem: What It Will Take to Counter Extremism and Engage Americans in the Fight against Global Warming, Prepared for the Symposium on the Politics of America’s Fight Against Global Warming (Jan. 2013).

Read our letter to Representative Ocasio-Cortez about a Green Justice New Deal

Top Photo Credit: Mark Magaña, GreenLatinos

Democratic Forum the Disastrous Impacts of Trump’s Wall to Communities, the Environment and Wildlife, The City Project Wed Jan 16 Livestream

Democratic Forum on the Disastrous Impacts of President Trump’s Border Wall to Communities, the Environment and Wildlife
Date, Time, and Location:

The event will be livestreamed at https://bit.ly/2QRrPsT
Wednesday, January 16
10 AM to 11:30 AM Eastern
Longworth 1324

Event Description:
The Trump Administration has proposed a wasteful, divisive, and ineffective wall along the southern border. His administration is now holding Americans hostage by keeping the government shut down until he gets his wall.
Chairman Grijalva will be holding a forum with community and tribal leaders, policy experts, and environmental advocates to discuss the impact of the wall on communities on the ground, wildlife and ecology, and the American people.
Panelists:
Raul Garcia | Senior Legislative Counsel, Earthjustice
Robert García | Founder & Counsel, The City Project
Christina Hazard | Associate Director of Government Affairs, National Parks Conservation Association
Jennifer Johnson | Border Policy Advisor, Southern Border Communities Coalition
Verlon M. Jose | Vice Chairman, Tohono O’odam Nation
Marianna Wright | Executive Director, National Butterfly Center

Democratic Forum on the Disastrous Impacts of President Trump’s Border Wall to Communities, the Environment and Wildlife, Wednesday, January 16

Democratic Forum on the Disastrous Impacts of President Trump’s Border Wall to Communities, the Environment and Wildlife
Date, Time, and Location:
Wednesday, January 16
10 AM to 11:30 AM Eastern
Longworth 1324
Event Description:
The Trump Administration has proposed a wasteful, divisive, and ineffective wall along the southern border. His administration is now holding Americans hostage by keeping the government shut down until he gets his wall.
Chairman Grijalva will be holding a forum with community and tribal leaders, policy experts, and environmental advocates to discuss the impact of the wall on communities on the ground, wildlife and ecology, and the American people.
Panelists:
Raul Garcia | Senior Legislative Counsel, Earthjustice 
Robert García | Founder & Counsel, The City Project 
Christina Hazard | Associate Director of Government Affairs, National Parks Conservation Association
Jennifer Johnson | Border Policy Advisor, Southern Border Communities Coalition
Verlon M. Jose | Vice Chairman, Tohono O’odam Nation
Marianna Wright | Executive Director, National Butterfly Center

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva Reception GreenLatinos & Allies Jan 15 DC 5-7 pm


As we welcome the start of 116th U.S. Congress, GreenLatinos and our conservation and environmental allies invite you to join us as we celebrate the incoming Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Congressman Raul M. Grijalva, on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 in Washington, DC. 

This exciting event will be a unique opportunity to recognize and honor the leadership and commitment of Congressman Raul M. Grijalva who has served as a powerful advocate for communities, environmental quality and  justice, and civil rights over his career.

We hope that you can join us!
Mark Magaña
President & CEO
GreenLatinos

Register here

Justice for Guatemalan People Johns Hopkins, Bristol-Myers, Rockefeller Foundation must face $1 billion syphilis infections suit. Non consensual medical experiments are crimes against humanity.

Read the decision in Estate of Arturo Giron Alvarez v Johns Hopkins University et al, U.S. District Court, District of Maryland, No. 15-00950.

HEALTH NEWS JANUARY 4, 2019

Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – A federal judge in Maryland said The Johns Hopkins University, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co ( BMY.N ) and the Rockefeller Foundation must face a $1 billion lawsuit over their roles in a 1940s U.S. government experiment that infected [thousands] of Guatemalans with syphilis. . . .

IU.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang rejected the defendants’ argument that a recent Supreme Court decision shielding foreign corporations from lawsuits in U.S. courts over human rights abuses abroad also applied to domestic corporations absent Congressional authorization.

Chuang’s decision is a victory for 444 victims and relatives of victims suing over the experiment, which was aimed at testing the then-new drug penicillin and stopping the spread of sexually-transmitted diseases.

The experiment echoed the government’s Tuskegee study on black American men who were deliberately left untreated for syphilis even after penicillin was discovered.

It was kept under wraps until a professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts discovered it in 2010. U.S. officials apologized for the experiment, and President Barack Obama called Guatemala’s president to offer a personal apology.

Chuang said lawsuits against U.S. corporations under the federal Alien Tort Statute were not “categorically foreclosed” by the Supreme Court decision last April 24 in Jesner v Arab Bank Plc covering foreign corporations.

He said the “need for judicial caution” was “markedly reduced” where U.S. corporations were defendants because there was no threat of diplomatic tensions or objections from foreign governments.

The judge also said letting the Guatemala case proceed would “promote harmony” by giving foreign plaintiffs a chance at a remedy in U.S. courts.

According to the complaint, several Hopkins and Rockefeller Foundation doctors were involved with the experiment, as were four executives from Bristol-Myers predecessors, Bristol Laboratories and the Squibb Institute.

“Johns Hopkins expresses profound sympathy for individuals and families impacted by the deplorable 1940s syphilis study funded and conducted by the U.S. government in Guatemala,” the university said in a statement. “We respect the legal process, and we will continue to vigorously defend the lawsuit.”

A Rockefeller Foundation spokesman said that the lawsuit had no merit, and that the nonprofit did not know about, design, fund or manage the experiment. Bristol-Myers spokesman Brian Castelli declined to comment.

Paul Bekman, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said his clients will proceed with discovery, including the exchange of decades-old documents. An earlier ruling found no statute of limitations issues if the plaintiffs could not have learned about the experiment before 2010.

“This experiment began 72 years ago. It’s hard to believe,” Bekman said.

***

Justice for Guatemalan People Interamerican Human Rights Commission https://www.cityprojectca.org/summary/guatemala-justice

Shifting tide for beach access LA Times Azul, The City Project, CA LULAC, GreenLatinos, Robert Bracamontes

The City Project and Free the Beach! pushed for California’s new environmental justice law, which explicitly authorizes coastal officials to consider not only impacts to plants, animals and coastal habitats when making decisions, but also the effects on underrepresented communities.

Read the complete story by Rosanna Xia in the L.A. Times . . .

Coastal access — often jostling for priority with wildlife protection, plastic pollution, offshore drilling and other high-profile environmental issues — has captured California’s attention in ways that did not resonate in years past. The issue has taken on new meaning as conversations of equity dominate politics.

“I’ve talked about access for years, and this issue just didn’t have the same impact and understanding and reception that it is now getting — not just from decision makers but also from my conservation colleagues,” said Marce Gutierrez-Graudins of Azul, a group that aims to bring more Latino voices to coastal issues. “I think there are a lot of things that are coming together, finally, at the right time.”

She points to decades of work by advocates such as Robert García of the City Project and the Free the Beach! study. They pushed for California’s new environmental justice law, which explicitly authorizes coastal officials to consider not only impacts to plants, animals and coastal habitats when making decisions, but also the effects on underrepresented communities. The more opportunities people have to go to the beach, the more they will care about protecting these environments, Gutierrez-Graudins said. “There’s an assumption that these communities don’t really care about beach pollution or conservation or that we only care about access — but in reality, it’s all linked.”

Spencer Robins writes in The Long Battle over Coastal Justice at Hollister Ranch (KCET/Link 2018):

As Spencer Robins writes, “A developing body of research shows that access to open space is a vital part of human health and wellbeing. And it’s not evenly distributed; the people most often denied the benefits of forests and mountains and beaches are [. . . ] already marginalized and oppressed. Increasingly, coastal experts and advocates are arguing that planning in cases like Hollister needs to account for the economic, social, and practical barriers that prevent so many people from being able to enjoy their right to the beach [ . . . ] Robert García is an environmental and civil rights lawyer, director of The City Project, and advocate for what he calls ‘coastal justice’: a coastal movement recognizing ‘access to the coastal zone is about equal justice and human dignity and freedom,’ in García’s words. Coastal justice addresses the history of racial and economic oppression behind the unequal coastal access we see today. [The Gaviota Coastal Trail Alliance] includes in its legal briefs arguments based on environmental justice principles — arguments that coastal advocates have not typically used, despite a 2016 requirement for the Coastal Commission to consider environmental justice in its decisions [ . . . ] The Alliance’s most recent brief in the case describes the ‘legacy and pattern of discriminatory public and private beach, land use, and housing policies’ that have prevented low-income people and people of color from sharing in the benefits of a public coast.”

Read our public comments on the California Coast Commission’s draft Environmental Justice Policy Statement (Nov. 7, 2018).

Read our report Free the Beach! Coastal Access, Equal Justice, and Hollister Ranch (2018) by California LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens), GreenLatinos, Robert Bracamontes, and The City Project, and our public comments to the California Coastal Commission (Dec. 13, 2018).

The 2004 National Parks Service study of the Gaviota Coast (2004) is a best practice for fair, fiscally responsible, and environmentally and economically sound alternatives for coastal justice.

People of color and low income people have the worst access to beaches and the California coastal zone, and disproportionately suffer from sea level rising and climate change.

10th Anniversary Acjachemen’s Victory LA Times Editorial

Los Angeles Times

Editorial

OUT HERE
The Acjachemen’s victory
The Acjachemen quietly marked the win against the Foothill South toll road by honoring land that will not be disturbed.
December 27, 2008

On the chilly morning of the winter solstice last Sunday, the sun was just cresting the ridgeline of San Mateo Canyon as the Acjachemen talking circle started. Twenty or so people stood around a campfire. They passed a smoking bundle of dried white sage from hand to hand, then took turns speaking.

But rather than the cycle of seasons, the topic on everyone’s mind was that they had won, they who are not accustomed to winning. The ground on which they stood, site of an Acjachemen village that flourished for more than 8,000 years, would not be traversed by a turnpike. Not likely, anyway, after the federal government three days earlier rejected an appeal to build the Foothill South toll road through San Onofre State Beach.

The debate about the proposed toll road centered on potential damage to a favorite surfing spot and the fate of the endangered Pacific pocket mouse. Less mentioned was Panhe, the former village located within the state park just south of San Clemente, to which a number of Acjachemen — called Juaneño by the Spanish — can trace their lineage, thanks to the careful records kept by missionaries.

“This is our Mecca,” Rebecca Robles, one of those descendants, had told me on an earlier visit. “This is our temple.”

In 1769, the Portola expedition came across the 350 residents of Panhe. This is where the first baptism in California was performed, the site now marked with a large white cross.

It’s easy to see how Panhe’s importance, both historical and as a modern gathering place for Acjachemen ceremonies, might be overlooked, even though it is listed by the Native American Heritage Commission as a sacred site. The cross is the only obvious sign of previous human settlement. But a wealth of artifacts lies underground, along with untold numbers of human bones.

The Acjachemen lost efforts to preserve old settlements at Bolsa Chica in Huntington Beach and at a site near the San Juan Capistrano mission. And their decades-long quest to become a federally recognized tribe has so far failed, in part because they are split into four factions. (That failure in turn is a relief to municipal leaders who fear the group will erect its own objectionable development — a casino.) The toll road was a rare and unexpected victory.

By the time the solstice ceremony concluded, the canyon was softly sunlit, newly green from recent rains and looking much like it must have for thousands of years. How many of us can stand on a spot and say that when Christianity was born, when the Ten Commandments were written, my ancestors were right here?

We admire civilizations for the man-made monuments that transform the landscape. The Pyramids. Stonehenge. The Acjachemen honor their ancestors for leaving no trace.

– Karin Klein

Thank you to the Los Angeles Times.  This Editorial is a high water mark for recognition of the Native American Acjachemen values at stake in saving the sacred site of Panhe and San Onofre State Beach.  Thank you to Karin Klein for doing the site tour, for attending the Winter Solstice to celebrate the victory, and for her writing.

Visit www.savepanhe.org and www.savesanonofre.org.

Rose Foundation “Inspiring, Incredible” PRRAC Strategies for Health Equity, Environmental Justice, Civil Rights The City Project

In the mood to be inspired? Look no further than this incredible report . . .

 

And see The Year in Pictures 2018 The City Project.

Please donate generously to The City Project!

Peaceful Holidays, Happy Christmas, and Great New Year!

 

 

The Year in Pictures 2018 The City Project

2018 was an exciting year for The City Project!

Click on the captions for more information:

“Pathways to Health Equity” One of the top 5 reports by the National Academies in 2017!

Strategies for Health Justice PRRAC, The City Project

#NoBorderWall Protect People, Wildlife, and Values Civil Rights & Environmental Allies

@LAOpera Environmental Justice Youth Opera NoHoHi @Autry!

Congressman Jimmy Gomez, Anahuak & The City Project Build Community Through Soccer, School & Sports

Anahuak, The City Project & Allies Celebrate Dedication of Martin Luther King, Jr., Grove on Cesar Chavez Day

Kellogg Park Dream Comes True in Ventura!

Congressional Testimony on Public Health, Public Parks, and Clean Government: People over Pollution

California’s Prop 68 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Park Visitors and Work Force

ParksRx LA and JUMPP

Congressman Jimmy Gomez How to Ensure Equity and Access in the Future of the LA River

Experimentos con Seres Humanos por EE.UU en Guatemala US STD Crimes against Humanity

Free the Beach! Coastal Justice, Climate, and Equal Access Hollister and Beyond!

Thank you new City Project team Policy Analysts Hannah Daly and Elizabeth Chi, UCLA Intern Alex Ruppert, Stanford Graduate Intern Sam Garcia, and Legal Intern Dylan Thomason.

We salute fallen heroes Dave Singleton, Ted Jackson, Prof. Leo Estrada, Antonio Gonzalez Rest in Power!

Ryan Zinke leaves lasting damage at National Park Service [and Scott Pruitt at EPA]. Jon Jarvis, The Guardian.

Thank you Director Jon Jarvis. And conservation justice is leading the resistance, as you point out in your book, not the conservation community.

Zinke rode into town on a white horse named Tonto – meaning “dumb” in Spanish, and evoking offensive stereotypes of the Lone Ranger’s “faithful Indian companion.” Zinke started out 
wrong and went downhill, with a parting blast at Natural Resources and Civil Rights leader Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ).

* * * 

I led the National Park Service. Ryan Zinke leaves lasting damage.
Hopes were high for the interior secretary’s tenure. But profiteers and climate deniers quickly changed that.

Jonathan B Jarvis | The Guardian

When President Trump’s new secretary of the interior Ryan Zinke rode a horse across the National Mall to the steps of his new office, there was cautious optimism, as a western congressman who professed to idolize Teddy Roosevelt seemed like a solid choice to govern 20% of the land base of the United States.

In the unforgiving milieu of Washington DC, Zinke and the “horse he rode in on” were subjected to withering ridicule. As the 18th director of the National Park Service (NPS), where I oversaw over 400 national parks and the equestrian patrol of the National Mall who accompanied the new secretary, I chalked it up to a publicity stunt.

But when Zinke had a new flag raised over the Interior Building, signaling to all there was a new sheriff in town, I knew we were in for some rough waters. Now that Zinke’s flag has been unfurled for the last time over the Department of the Interior, many of us who care deeply about our national parks and public lands have breathed a collective sigh of relief.

The secretary of the interior has a complicated and important job. He or she oversees all of the national parks, the national wildlife refuges, and the public lands of the Bureau of Land Management, plus the scientific work of US Geological Survey, and leasing and regulation of coal mining and oil and gas development in the oceans off the coast of the United States. He or she carries a trust responsibility to Native Americans and is the water master of the Colorado river. The secretary is the keeper of the nation’s history as the steward of the Statue of Liberty, homes of past presidents, civil war battlefields and our most powerful civil rights sites, such as the church of Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

[Zinke’s] doors were soon darkened by profiteers, big game hunters, oil executives, and climate deniers. Under Zinke’s flag, national monuments were carved up and reopened for development, exemplified by the reduction of Bears Ears national monument under the guise of a “review” under which Native American input was left out and public opposition ignored. Policies that planned for climate change’s impacts on national parks were rescinded, and leasing of public lands for development was accelerated (despite a glut of oil)Career public servants, such as the superintendent of Yellowstone national park, were randomly moved to force their retirements, and others were threatened with either a forced reassignment or a complete elimination of their program. Climate scientists were told to edit their own research, eliminating any reference to human causes (but fortunately some refused).

Then Zinke rolled out a series of poorly conceived ideas: eliminate national park passes for the active military and fourth graders, increase national park entrance fees by several orders of magnitude, and require upfront payment for first amendment protests on the National Mall. Two years after he took the reins, the positions of director of the National Park Service and head of the US Fish and Wildlife Service remain vacant, unprecedented in history, leaving the two agencies rudderless and adrift.

Zinke’s flag has been lowered due to his own unethical excesses, but little will change at interior. In charge will be the deputy secretary David Bernhardt, the brains behind most of the unwinding of our national estate. As the acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler was to Scott Pruitt, David Bernhardt is to Ryan Zinke: smart, shrewd, low-profile and effective. When this all ends, what will be the lasting damage?

Millions of acres that were available for outdoor recreation will now be held by private companies for fossil fuel development. Many distinguished career public servants will be gone and many mid-level employees will be reconsidering their career choices. Regulations that protect our air, water and wildlife will be weakened and need rebuilding. And our options for addressing climate change will have been narrowed. The one thing that the Zinke administration cannot rewrite is history, and history will not be kind to his tenure.

There is good news besides his departure, and the legal challenges to many of his policies and actions, led by the conservation [justice] community. As I wrote in my book The Future of Conservation, I have faith in the rise in the millennial generation active for conservation [justice]. They are smart, diverse, innovative and fired up, forming not only resistance, but a movement that will stand up locally and nationally for the future of our parks and public lands for all, forever. Someone in this group will be a future secretary of the interior and they will be one of the good ones.

Jonathan B. Jarvis was the 18th director of the National Park Service. Over his 40 years with the NPS, he served under 10 different secretaries of the interior. He is the co-author of The Future of Conservation in America, A Chart for Rough Water, from University of Chicago Press. Read the full story in The Guardian.

Photo by NPS intern Ashley Philips L to R David Moore, Ken Brodie, FWS Kim Lambert, NPS Director Jon Jarvis, TCP Robert García, Michael Reynolds, Brian Joyner, DOI Cheryl Kelly. All others NPS.