The advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Policy found that the number of permanent law enforcement officers has dropped 15 percent since 2005. Seasonal officers are down 30 percent in the same time period.
Colleen Teubner, staff attorney for the organization, said the long-term planning capacity of staff–a critical part of maintaining safety at federal facilities–has also dwindled. The group recently submitted testimony to the Law Enforcement Task Force at the Department of the Interior advocating for increased spending on employee hiring and retention.
“It’s hard to enforce the laws within the national parks when there are fewer rangers on staff,” Teubner said.