|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||May 10, 2007|
|Contact:||Andrea Keller Helsel, NPCA, 202-454-3332|
President Bush's Planned Visit to Jamestown Brings Needed Attention to National Parks
Press Statement by National Parks Conservation Association President Tom Kiernan
It is noteworthy that President Bush is visiting Jamestown this weekend. The 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown has allowed this national park site to realize the benefits of significant federal, state, and private financial support. The upcoming centennial of the park system in 2016 offers similar opportunity for all 391 national parks. With adequate funding, all of our national parks can be restored and in top shape like Jamestown to welcome and inspire visitors.
With the centennial of the National Park System now fewer than 10 years away, America has an important opportunity to restore our beloved but beleaguered parks.
The president’s recently-announced National Park Centennial Initiative, which includes a proposed operating increase of more than $200 million for parks in the 2008 budget, is an important step that will put rangers back into our parks to protect these natural and cultural treasures, and educate and inspire visitors. But this represents only a down payment on what must be a multi-year, multi-pronged effort to restore our parks, which suffer from an operating shortfall in excess of $800 million annually.
America’s national parks represent the best of our national heritage. Taking care of our national parks should be a national priority.
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