NPCA Praises Republican Leadership's Support of Frederick Douglass Home

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   May 8, 2003
Contact:   Andrea Keller, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-454-3332


NPCA Praises Republican Leadership's Support of Frederick Douglass Home

WASHINGTON, DC - Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) today introduced a resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate recognizing that Congress should provide adequate funding for the restoration of Frederick Douglass’ historic home, a need that was identified in a report produced through the National Parks Conservation Association’s innovative State of the Parks program.

“We are very pleased that the Speaker and Senate Majority Leader have joined the effort to preserve the legacy of a great American, Frederick Douglass,” said National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) President Thomas C. Kiernan. “When we let historic sites like the Douglass house decay, we turn our backs on the very roots of our nation.”

NPCA’s State of the Parks report on the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, released in February, stated that Mr. Douglass’ historic 1850s home in Washington, D.C., needs an immediate increase in funding. The National Park Service lacks the staff and nearly $2 million in critical funding to meet day-to-day needs and to protect Mr. Douglass’ personal belongings and the integrity of the property.

“We encourage the Republican leadership to also remember the 387 other sites in the National Park System as they develop the 2004 budget of the Department of Interior,” Kiernan said. “Congress should work in a bipartisan fashion to preserve our national heritage for all Americans.”

Decades of underfunding have crippled the ability of the Park Service to protect America’s natural and cultural treasures and educate 280 million visitors annually. National parks are operating, on average, with only two-thirds of the needed funding—an annual shortfall of more than $600 million.

NPCA launched the State of the Parks program in 2000 to assess the health of national parks across the country. The product of a yearlong analysis, “The Frederick Douglass National Historic Site: A Resource Assessment,” is the fifth NPCA State of the Parks report.

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