America’s National Parks: Money for Nothing, Sunsets for Free

Emilio Cogliani

Mancos Valley Overlook with areas open for leasing below

Apparently the White House is once again undermining The Constitution and using executive authority without consulting Congress. In February, President Obama designated three new national monuments in Illinois, Colorado and Hawaii and urged Americans to “find their national park” and go there. He even had the gall to declare one of the weeks in April National Park Week.

Of course, national parks or public lands in general are not mentioned in the Constitution. National parks weren’t invented until 1872, when Congress, in a rare and rash legislative action, set aside Yellowstone National Park as a perpetual pleasuring ground for Americans then and forever.

Looking back it’s something of a miracle that America in the Gilded Age could have done anything so altruistic as establish a national park without thought of economic benefit, if not outright dollars. As one French traveler and…

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