The proposal for a Craters of the Moon National Park is portrayed as a benign name change with the sole consequence of attracting new tourist dollars. Absent from discussion are the unintended consequences of how a park would affect grazing, agriculture and industry across southern Idaho.
National parks play vital roles in shaping federal land management decisions beyond their borders. A Craters of the Moon National Park would prove indispensable in strengthening environmental regulation throughout the Snake River Plain.
A national park would transform how people think about the Snake River Plain and it would create a new context for federal policy. People and decision makers would learn to see the region for what it is: a fragile ecosystem.
If a Craters of the Moon National Park is created, it will be interesting to watch these effects radiate across southern Idaho.
John Kelley, Sun Valley