They are changing the whole nature of who we are and what we have been," said J.T. Reynolds, superintendent of Death Valley National Park. "I hope the public understands that this is a threat to their heritage. It threatens the past, the present and the future. It's painful to see this."
The potential changes would allow cellphone towers and low-flying tour planes and would liberalize rules that prohibited mining, according to Bill Wade, former superintendent at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.
Larry Whalon, chief of resource management at Mojave National Preserve, said the changes would take away managers' ability to use laws such as the Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act to oppose new developments in parks.
Additionally, the mission changes seek to remove references to evolution.