John Barrasso: Interior Department targeting bikers, joggers, nature lovers

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Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Interior,Government Shutdown,National Parks

Nature lovers and bicyclists beware: The National Park Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are coming for you.

Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso today revealed that Park Service authorities are chasing tourists from overlooks in Grand Teton National Park while Fish and Wildlife Service officials are kicking bikers off a path that parallels a public highway in his state.

At a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, he said, “The Obama administration appears to be using the Department of Interior to inflict as much pain as possible on the public and on our national park communities.”

Pointing to a picture of a car blocked from an unstaffed viewing area, he said, “Does the administration really think it’s necessary to keep the driver of the red car in this photo from safely pulling off the highway to take a picture of the Tetons? Maybe the Park Service could study how to drop a large curtain in front of the mountains to block the view from the road.”

Another picture showed a closed bike path. “Here’s a second picture. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed off a bike and jogging path — again in Wyoming. No restrooms, no trash facilities — no need to maintain this pathway in the short term. This pathway simply runs parallel to Highway 89 outside of Jackson, Wyo. It provides a safe alternative to running or biking on the shoulder of the road.

“Small and petty actions like these have been taken all across the west,” Barrasso said.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.