|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||August 27, 2003|
|Contact:||Tom Kiernan, NPCA, 202-454-3311
Tony Jewett, Northern Rockies Region, NPCA,406-431-8408
Statement by Thomas C. Kiernan, NPCA president, about the Yellowstone Winter Use Plan
"The funding shortfall leaves park visitors, staff, and wildlife without needed protection and care. In fact, the Park Service acknowledged recently that visitors suffer the most from the park's funding shortfalls. In September, for instance, the park will not offer any interpretive programs--meaning 16,000 to 17,000 visitors each day will be denied the opportunity to go on ranger-led walks or participate in other public education programs at the world's first national park.
"Although insufficient funding means visitors will go without programs and services, the administration will divert additional funds to hire more law enforcement rangers to deal with speeding, illegal off-road travel, and other misbehavior by snowmobile users that has increased dramatically over the past three winters.
"The administration's Yellowstone plan ignores the critical needs of the park and forces an already overworked and understaffed Park Service to take on additional needless responsibilities at the expense of our national heritage and the experiences of millions of visitors."