Congress Examines Southwest's National Parks at Field Hearing in Flagstaff

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   October 7, 2005
Contact:   Kelli Holsendolph, NPCA, 202-454-3311


Congress Examines Southwest's National Parks at Field Hearing in Flagstaff

- WHAT: Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), Chairman of the Criminal Justice Subcommittee of the House Government Reform Committee, is holding the fifth in a series of congressional hearings intended to examine the funding needs and challenges facing America’s national parks. This congressional field hearing will focus on the national parks in the Southwest. Previous hearings have been held in Gettysburg, Penn., Washington D.C., Boston, Mass., and Seattle, Wash.

Bob Keiter, Wallace Stegner professor of law for the University of Utah College of Law, director of the Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment, and board member of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) will provide testimony, on NPCA’s behalf, about the funding needs and management challenges at national parks in the Southwest, including Grand Canyon National Park, Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, Lake Mead National Recreation Area, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Mr. Keiter will also testify about the inadequate park funding for science, cultural resource preservation, and law enforcement challenges for border parks.

Other witnesses at the hearing will include Richard Frost, associate regional director, Intermountain Region, National Park Service; former Associate Regional Director for Natural and Cultural Resources Rick Smith; and Deborah Tuck, president of Grand Canyon National Park Foundation. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ), Rep. John Shadegg (R-AZ), and Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH) have been invited to attend.

WHEN: Thursday, October 13, 2005
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

WHERE: City Hall
Main Council Chamber
211 West Aspen Avenue, Flagstaff

WHY: These congressional hearings are the first focused effort by Congress in decades to examine the funding needs of the national parks in-depth, and to identify solutions to meeting the challenges. Information gathered during the hearings is being used by Rep. Souder to establish a comprehensive record of the needs of the nation’s parks—one that mirrors and expands upon existing data gathered from other sources.

Rep. Souder is co-founder of the House National Parks Caucus and sponsor of the National Park Centennial Act (H.R. 1124), which was introduced in March to create an innovative fund to support the maintenance and natural and cultural preservation needs in the parks. Reps. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Rick Renzi (R-AZ) are also co-sponsors and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) is lead sponsor of companion legislation introduced in the U.S. Senate (S. 866).

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