Virgin Islands National Park Getting a Name Change

national park sign

The Virgin Islands National Park will no longer hold that title. Instead it will be called the Caribbean National Parks, which in my opinion, is asinine. If you agree with me on this, please attend a hearing on the matter tonight at the Cleone H. Creque Legislative Conference Room in Cruz Bay. Representatives from the National Park Service are expected to be in attendance.

Here is the full story courtesy of the VI Consortium (which is a great publication if you’re unfamiliar with it):

ST. JOHN — Senate President Myron Jackson on Wednesday encouraged concerned residents to attend a public meeting to discuss the sudden reorganization and name change of the Virgin Islands National Park. The meeting, organized by the Virgin Islands Unity Day Group at 6 p.m. on Thursday at the Cleone H. Creque Legislative Conference Room in Cruz Bay, St. John, is expected to include representatives from the National Park Service to provide information on how the changes will affect the territory.

“The possible change of name of the Virgin Islands National Park to the Caribbean National Parks and news that superintendents will be located in Puerto Rico is unacceptable in this day and age,” Mr. Jackson said. “This centennial year should be about revisiting the Virgin Islands Park System in addressing the cultural resources, community values, heritage and land issues of the Virgin Islands. Why were we not consulted as a community? Why has the Governor or the Delegate not addressed the community on this drastic change?”

According to Lorelei Monsanto, a member of the Virgin Islands Unity Day group, the territory’s federally-protected land and water resources, the change occurred on July 11, 2017. It calls for what used to be known as the Virgin Islands National Park to now be referred to as the Caribbean National Parks, and for its administrative leadership to be transferred to neighboring Puerto Rico. The move is said to be the initiative of President Donald Trump.

The change brings up potential issues such as the lack of local control and oversight of the territory’s resources, lack of internal cultural resource management, and ambiguity surrounding the employment status of persons under the Virgin Islands National Park, he said.

The area in question consists of 7,259 acres of terrestrial habitat, which accounts for roughly 60 percent of St. John’s land mass, as well as 5,650 acres of adjacent submerged lands, along with ridge tops and reefs. The Park Service has historically been tasked with providing protection and preservation for tropical and migrating birds, fish, corals and other marine life, as well as some 800 species of plants. Holdings under the National Park Service in the territory include land on the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument, land on Hassel Island, the Christiansted National Historic Site, Salt River National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, and Buck Island.

“I am also requesting that Delegate to Congress Stacey Plaskett call public hearings in the Virgin Islands to address our concerns on this decision by federal officials,” Mr. Jackson, a historian and staunch proponent of Virgin Islands culture, said. “These are our islands and our home and we should be fully engaged as to how our resources and future are decided.”

The Virgin Islands Unity Day Group is an organization formed to promote unity, cooperation and togetherness among residents of the USVI by taking action to fight racism, social injustice, and community deterioration with informative educational activities and outreach programs which are positive and inclusive of all segments of the community, according to its Facebook page.

For more information about the meeting, call 776-6285.

We will keep you all posted on the matter.

16 thoughts on “Virgin Islands National Park Getting a Name Change”

  1. I can’t attend the meeting but I would write a letter stating my opinion. Can you provide a USPS or email address I can write to?

    Thank you

  2. That’s not as bad as I expected. When I read the headline I expected the new name to be tRump Beach.

    Tell me again about winning. When will that start? The only thing he has made great again is Saturday Night Live.

    • Sorry, but I choose to take a wait and see approach. I love this blog, as my wife and I got married on St. John many years ago and have been back many many times. But people can’t bitch about the politics of the island (broader USVI) and know there are government employees on island who do not pay for their positions. I’m all for cutting out the waste as long as the beuty remains….which I think it will. I realize this will get politicized, but people on here (that mostly are in the upper class if we are honest with ourselves) are being a tad greedy and looking out for their own good…a stance held by most reading this, but not most of the American people, who actually own the island. I think most would be okay with it if presented both sides of the argument.

  3. We have been going to St John for about 11 years. I love driving by and seeing that sign!!!! Please do not change the name!!!!

  4. I’m back in the states for the summer, but like many St. John part-time residents I’m sure, would like to know what I can do short of flying down for a hearing. I’m afraid this is just step one in many planned by Trump that will disenfranchise the park.

  5. I too frequent the beautiful island of St John, in fact just returned from spending three weeks there. Why change something that is not broke. If we could also send letters I would be willing to do that!

  6. The Department of the Interior’s new Secretary, Ryan Zinke, has skewed priorities, imo, and this situation needs full public engagement. Although Rinke has given some lip service to good stewardship of public lands, he seems most concerned with saving money (bye-bye jobs), selling off portions of public lands and leasing land for resources (logging,mining, etc.). Please attend this meeting, ask questions, express concerns and sing a few bars of Woody Guthrie’s “This land is Your Land” for me.. for those lands truly belong to YOU.

  7. This is absolutely ridiculous. Laurence, must be rolling in his grave. The VI National Park is a treasure. Would they change the name of Yosemite? This seems to be purely capitalism, not stewardship. What can we do stateside?

  8. The Power is being shifted to Puerto Rico to make it easier to do a Land grab. President Roosevelt created the National Park system because he understood people could be greedy and will pave paradise (i.e. Coral Bay Marina) if allowed to do so. Virgin Islands need to wake up and monitor this closely or we may see our park succumb to McMansion’s . A name change is a powerful thing legally.

  9. Not true. At all. VI National Park published, explained and strongly denies this story. Meeting was canceled because it is fake.

  10. Please note that this is not true. totally fabricated fake news. I attended the town hall meeting and the new head said it was never even considered. and it needs an act of congress if ever to happen. only thing true is new head will reside in Puerto Ricco and will manage all 3 islands. he said in the future the head could reside in any of the 3 islands. He chose Puerto Ricco because his 6 year old son needs regular medical care due to cancer since he was 2 years old.
    not every thing one reads on internet specially social media is accurate. always double check .

    • This was not fabricated news as stated by you. It was news dispersed by our Senate President. He made the statement and the local publications picked it up. So I take offense to your “double check” comment. We always double check here at News of St. John.

  11. If this is true, someone with connections should try to engage David Rockefeller and John Stryker and see if the can influence in any way.

Leave a Comment