"NATIONAL PARK RANGERS ASK PUBLIC NOT TO SHOOT MESSENGER"
The letter, written by the president of the Ranger Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, says, in part:
Park Rangers are being assigned tasks that, at minimum, are an inconvenience to the public and that often deprive the public of their access to Federal lands and facilities.
Closing National Parks is against our nature. The reason we became Park Rangers and love our profession is because we enjoy welcoming people from around the world to our national treasures, and providing for safe and enjoyable visits to these sites, while leaving them protected for future generations.
However, there is a law governing government shutdowns, the Anti-Deficiency Act. Over the decades, multiple administrations have implemented closures under this law.
We are unaware of any injunction or other court-issued document that has ever overturned the government’s authority in these matters. For those who believe they have standing, we urge you to seek legal remedies in court if you believe NPS actions to close park facilities to be illegal. Life would be much easier for us if the parks were open.
Without any contrary court findings or changes in the law, we will carry on with this miserable, thankless, and pay-less task denying public access to parks during the government shutdown. Although our actions too often make sensational news stories and fodder for pundits -- they are supported by precedent and legal guidance from government lawyers, under laws we are sworn to enforce.The release makes no mention of a president who publicly refuses to negotiate with Congress. It seems to preclude that the executive branch has any latitude in the manner in which a partial shutdown is enforced. It attempts to blame all that's happened on law, legal precedent and the Congress.
The lack of criticism for the administration suggests this NPS employee group is aligned with management in serving as political tools of the White House.
The claim of just following orders rings hollow.
In light of events over the past two weeks, the letter appears to be another attempt to rally pressure in support of the White House positions.