Our new Interior Secretary, David Bernhardt, told The Colorado Independent on Monday that he’s “not worried about climate change posing an imminent threat to national parks, nor to the outdoor recreation industry”.
Bernhardt made the comment in what is believed to be a mistaken interview with what he thought was The Independent for the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, his hometown paper.
Bernhardt recently told Congress that he hasn’t “lost any sleep” over record-high carbon dioxide levels. He went on to tell The Colorado Independent that, “My view is that Rocky Mountain National Park, my view is that Estes Park, should be confident that whatever change occurs in the future, and we don’t know what that will be — I would think that folks would be attracted to Rocky Mountain National Park in the foreseeable future, and I don’t think you’d find any debate about that.”
When asked about the National Parks systems $12.6 billion maintenance backlog, Bernhardt told The Colorado Independent that the problem is “out of control” and that buildings within national parks are “literally crumbling”.
When asked how he intends on fixing the maintenance backlog Bernhardt said that he’s trying to address this problem by raising entry fees and costs for visitors inside parks.
Prior to his roll as Interior Secretary Bernhardt worked for Denver-based law and lobbying firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck where he lobbied for Cadiz Inc., a company working to drain water from an aquifer in the Mojave Trails National Monument and sell it to coastal communities in Southern California.