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Which was scarier: President Obama's bear impression, or the park rangers' intimidating uniforms?

As Twitchy reported, President Obama, his family, his advance team, and his security detail arrived at Yosemite National Park Saturday via Air Force One, helicopters, and a massive motorcade so that he could deliver a speech warning of the dangers of climate change.


CBS News’ Mark Knoller courteously teed up the photo of the day, showing President Obama, flanked by intimidating park rangers, eliciting shouts of “Go away!” from children assembled to represent the government’s “Every Kid in a Park” initiative.


The president noted that this year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, and his speech today touched briefly on issues that a coalition called the Centennial Initiative insists he address via a Presidential Memorandum this August, on the exact date of the centennial.

The Centennial Initiative describes itself as “a first-of-its-kind coalition of civil rights, environmental justice, conservation groups and community leaders and activists” whose goal is to “increase inclusion and representation of America’s communities of color in our national parks and other public lands.”


Perhaps more Americans would visit if the president would order some much-needed changes, described in detail at links embedded in the Centennial Initiative’s “Public Lands for ALL People” petition at

Much as public schools are ridding themselves of names that invoke the Confederacy (or attempting to), the coalition asks the president to “review names of sites throughout system for cultural bias,” as “some sites may require comprehensive name changes to reflect a broader and more inclusive history.” The Centennial Initiative also encourages the president to partner with groups such as the NAACP and the National Council of La Raza to expand hiring and recruitment initiatives.

Also among the changes encouraged is a redesign of all national parks to remove intimidating imagery. The Centennial Initiative asks that President Obama “assess the cultural implications of existing agency uniforms, offices, signage, and other facilities.”

For what reason, exactly? “The Park Service law-enforcement vehicles look like those used by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,” the coalition explains, “and uniforms have law enforcement connotations, both of which present a significant impediment to engaging all Americans.”


The group also asks that the history of LGBT Americans be recognized somehow, although Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced in 2014 a study to identify places and events associated with the story of LGBTQ Americans for inclusion in National Park Service parks and programs. Here’s an hour’s worth of video on the initiative if you have some time on your hands.


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