Tulare County supervisors support commercial pack animals in national parks
The Tulare County Board of Supervisors voted to support a bill introduced by Congressman Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, allowing businesses that rent pack mules and horses to operate in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks while a new wilderness plan is implemented, according to the Visalia Times-Delta.
In 2009 a High Sierra Hikers Association sued the National Park Service for failing to conduct an adequate environmental impact analysis of its wilderness plan. As a result of the suit, a judge ruled that the service no longer has the authority to issue permits to the companies that rent pack animals.
Before the supervisors' vote, Jim Sullins, director of UC Cooperation Extension in Tulare and Kings counties, said years of research done by UC Davis and UC Cooperative Extension wasn't included in the U.S. Park Service's response to the lawsuit.