Presidential Candidates: What Have They Done for Parks?

This election will be the most consequential of our lifetime. 

The National Parks Action Fund has compiled a list of park-related actions taken by Republican Candidate President Trump, and Democratic Candidate Joe Biden, while he was Vice President under President Obama.

Every day, presidential administrations make decisions that impact our national parks and public lands. They choose a course for preserving our nation’s history and protecting lands, rivers, wildlife and cultural resources. Please take a look at some key park issues and the actions the presidential candidates took on them.

Land Protections

Trump-Pence Administration
  • Protected Yellowstone National Park from mining
  • Proposed reducing and eliminating protections for national monuments
  • Slashed protections for Bears Ears National Monument that is within southern Utah national park landscape
Obama-Biden Administration
  • Started a review to prevent mining near Yellowstone National Park
  • Designated several national monuments to protect their natural and cultural resources for future generations
  • Established Bears Ears National Monument to protect cultural resources and sacred sites within and near national park landscapes

Park Funding

Trump-Pence Administration
  • Proposed decreased annual funding for National Park Service by an average of almost seven percent
Obama-Biden Administration
  • Proposed increased annual funding for National Park Service by an average of five and a half percent

Wildlife

Trump-Pence Administration
  • Rescinded Park Service policy so baiting and hunting of denning bears in Alaska’s national preserves is now allowed
Obama-Biden Administration
  • Established Park Service policy to prevent baiting and hunting of denning bears in Alaska’s national preserves

Air Pollution

Trump-Pence Administration
  • Stopped policy to protect public from methane, a harmful pollutant, that results from oil and gas drilling on public lands near parks
  • Replaced clean air policy with one that will allow harmful industrial pollution to continue near parks
  • Changed policies to allow more air pollution from new oil and gas drilling on private and public lands
Obama-Biden Administration
  • Enacted policy to protect public from methane, a harmful pollutant, that results from oil and gas drilling on public lands near parks
  • Enacted clean air policies to protect parks from existing industrial pollution
  • Enacted policies to reduce air pollution from new oil and gas drilling on private and public lands

Energy Development on Public Lands

Trump-Pence Administration
  • Eliminated collaborative planning processes to keep oil and gas drilling away from park landscapes
  • Proposed allowing offshore oil and gas drilling near 68 coastal national parks
Obama-Biden Administration
  • Established collaborative planning processes to promote protecting parks from oil and gas drilling
  • Prevented offshore oil and gas drilling near 68 coastal national parks

Water

Trump-Pence Administration
  • Reduced protections for waterways near national parks
Obama-Biden Administration
  • Increased protections for waterways near national parks

Climate Change

Trump-Pence Administration
  • Initiated partial withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord
  • Rescinded Park Service policy to better protect natural resources and wildlife from effects of climate change
Obama-Biden Administration
  • Entered into Paris Climate Accord
  • Enacted Park Service policy to better protect natural resources and wildlife from effects of climate change