|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||January 30, 2001|
|Contact:||Andrea Keller, NPCA, 202-454-3390|
Senate Confirms Gale Norton as Secretary of the Interior
In his only environmental campaign statement, George W. Bush last September promised to increase park funding by $4.9 billion over the next five years in an effort to improve park maintenance and protection of cultural artifacts and natural resources.
Analyses by NPCA, the National Park Service (NPS), and more than 50 graduate students from leading U.S. business and policy schools show that park operating budgets need to be increased by at least 35 percent to protect the plants, animals, and historic objects that were the impetus for park creation. Natural resource protection and visitor interpretation are the most underfunded parts of national park management.
Other serious threats to parks include abuse by snowmobiles and Jet Skis and development in Alaska's national parks. "NPCA also wants to see the new administration continue recent Park Service efforts to increase ethnic and cultural diversity among park visitors and staff," Kiernan says. "America's national parks and NPS staff should more fully reflect the face of America than they have in the past. We are looking to Ms. Norton for leadership and commitment on this important issue."