New Survey Says Democrats, Republicans Agree: Bush Needs to Fund National Parks

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   October 28, 2002
Contact:   Andrea Keller, Americans for National Parks, 202-454-3332


New Survey Says Democrats, Republicans Agree: Bush Needs to Fund National Parks

Washington, D.C. - A new omnibus survey of top congressional staffers has revealed that a majority of Democrats and Republicans agree that President Bush should fulfill his campaign promise to provide $4.9 billion to “restore and renew America’s national parks.” The survey, Congressional e-Cloakroom, is a bipartisan research partnership of Market Strategies and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.

Additionally, congressional candidates across the country, most recently in Colorado and Tennessee, have spoken on record about the need to fund the national parks, and Representatives Mark Souder (R-4-IN) and John Lewis (D-5-GA) are circulating a letter from members of the House to appropriators supporting additional funds for parks.

“It is clear that Congress supports the national parks, as does the American public,” said Americans for National Parks Campaign Director Jennifer Coken. “President Bush must follow through on his campaign promise. If he doesn’t keep his commitment, it will jeopardize the valuable contribution of parks to this country’s economic growth, environmental conservation, and historic preservation.”

Research has shown that the national parks are operating, on average, with only two-thirds of the funding needed, creating a wide variety of critical needs ranging from deteriorating infrastructure to the loss of wildlife. Museum artifacts and archaeological sites are not being adequately preserved, visitor education programs are being reduced, and irreplaceable historic structures are crumbling.

Results from the Congressional e-Cloakroom, a representative Internet-based survey of 155 Senate and House staffers, indicate that 88% of Democrats and 69% of Republicans surveyed think it is extremely, very, or somewhat important that the president keep his campaign promise. The study was conducted 9/27 – 10/4/02. The margin of error was +/- 6.5%.

Led by the National Parks Conservation Association, the coalition of Americans for National Parks includes more than 250 private businesses, trade associations, local governments, and nonprofit organizations from across the country, working with Congress and the administration to address the funding needs of the national parks, including a $600-million annual operating shortfall.

Copies of the survey are available by contacting Andrea Keller at 202-454-3332.

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