A massive water gun fight at the Washington Monument, in which more than 30,000 people expressed interest, was cancelled Monday by the National Park Service because it could “damage natural resources.”
The event has been publicly advertised on Facebook since at least February, and organizers claim that the National Park Service knew about the event.
“So I spoke to the National Park Service today and they told me that ANY water brought in from outside sources that touches the ground is a “damage to their natural resources,” one of the event’s organizers wrote in a Facebook post. ”
“So regardless if 1 person shows up or 3,000 people show up- They would deny a permit and [sic] that they would turn people away if folks did show up. They did know about this event and the date and location already.”
The National Parks Service currently owes $11.9 billion in deferred maintenance and other backlogged expenses, according to recent research.
NPS would need to spend five times the amount it gets every year from Congress to fix its maintenance backlog, which is expected to grow each year, according to Property and Environment Research Center (PERC). Part of NPS’s enormous backlog is that the agency has been more interested in expanding its operations than performing basic maintenance. The NPS has added 18 new units to the national parks system since 2009, costing the agency an enormous amount of money.
The correlation between new park units and deferred maintenance is quite direct. The U.S. government has spent more than $10 billion acquiring new public lands to set off limits to water guns fights, according to the Congressional Research Service.
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