National Parks Conservation Association Announces 5 Ways to Fix National Parks in 10 Years; Challenges America to Sign Pledge to Help

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   October 24, 2006
Contact:  

 Andrea Keller Helsel, NPCA, 202-454-3332



National Parks Conservation Association Announces 5 Ways to Fix National Parks in 10 Years; Challenges America to Sign Pledge to Help

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today issued a white paper detailing five ways Congress, the White House, and the American public can fix the national parks by the National Park Service’s 100th birthday—just 10 years away—and challenged Americans to sign a pledge to help fix the parks.

“We’ve got 10 years to fix our national parks—and five ways to get the job done,” said NPCA President Tom Kiernan. “It is up to all of us to restore the faded glory of our National Park System before it is too late.”

NPCA’s list of 5 Ways America Can Fix Our National Parks:

  • RESTORE: Restore the health of the cultural and natural resources of our national parks by taking action to overcome external and internal threats
  • REINVEST: Reinvest in our national parks by establishing reliable sources of sustainable public funding and strategic private investments
  • REINVIGORATE: Reinvigorate the management capacity and efficiency within the National Park Service by facilitating mission-driven decision-making, encouraging innovation, and stimulating stakeholder collaboration 
  • RESEARCH: Ensure that parks have current science and active research to inform decisions about park protection, as these decisions should be based on science and informed expertise to the greatest extent possible
  • REPRESENT: Ensure that the National Park System continues to grow and evolve to represent and interpret nationally significant landscapes, ecosystems, and the full range and diversity of American history and culture, and reflects and engages all Americans

NPCA’s new analysis shows that the parks’ annual operating shortfall has grown from $600 million to more than $800 million over the last five years. NPCA’s Turning Point report says that 1 in every 3 national parks suffers the effects of air pollution.

“Our national heritage is imperiled,” said Kiernan. “We must do something. And we can! Already, people across the country are signing the Pledge to Fix Our Parks atwww.npca.org/fixourparks. Individuals, businesses, organizations, and others can sign the Pledge and agree to personally take action to help our parks.”

In August, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced a plan for 10-year-long National Parks Centennial Challenge, which has the potential to provide much-needed help for the national parks. 

“We’re hopeful that the Centennial Challenge will address many of the issues identified in NPCA’s white paper, 5 Ways America Can Fix Our National Parks,” Kiernan said, “starting with a significant funding increase for national parks in next year’s budget.”

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