|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||April 5, 2006|
Andrea Keller Helsel, NPCA, 202-454-3332
New GAO Report Confirms Critical Park Needs
Press Statement by NPCA President Tom Kiernan
The new report issued today by the Government Accountability Office confirms that America? national parks are losing ground, and straining to survive with shrinking budgets.
In March 2005, the Congressional Research Service estimated that the backlog of maintenance needs now totaled $4.5 to $9.7 billion. In addition, research shows that the parks?chronic annual operating shortfall exceeds $600 million annually.
Congress needs to take immediate action to restore the $100-million cut that the administration has proposed for the parks?fiscal year 2007 budget, and provide an additional $150 million for annual operating needs.
The national parks were treading water last year. This year, they are in danger of sinking. The time for action to protect our national inheritance is now.