Dear Santa, Please Remember America's National Parks

Date:   December 21, 2007
Contact:   Andrea Keller Helsel, NPCA, P: 202-454-3332

Dear Santa, Please Remember America's National Parks

Christmas List for America's National Parks Includes Smog-Free Skies for Santa's Reindeer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today issued a Christmas list for America’s national parks.

“Taking care of our national parks should be a national priority—and that goes for Santa Claus, too,” said National Parks Conservation Association Senior Vice President for Programs Ron Tipton, who offered the following gift suggestions for national parks this year:

  • Now Bring Me Some Figgy Pudding… and Funding for Parks. Short more than $800 million annually, Congress and the Administration need to continue to invest in our national parks next year, and in the years leading up to the parks’ centennial. The National Park Service needs funds to provide adequate services for nearly 300 million annual visitors, protect archaeological sites and historic buildings, address the parks’ extensive list of backlogged maintenance and preservation projects, including visitor centers and restrooms that are in bad shape, and to acquire land inside park boundaries, some of which is now threatened with development.
  • Ring in the New Year…and the Centennial Challenge. Congress launched the National Park Centennial Challenge by providing nearly $25 million in the fiscal year 2008 omnibus bill. Now Congress just needs to pass legislation to authorize this new, 10-year-long program, which would augment annual appropriations and match private investments with federal funds to complete important park projects and programs.
  • Rudolph is the Only One Who Can See in These Smog-Filled Skies! Congress and the Administration must enforce the Clean Air Act and put the brakes on dirty, coal-fired power plants and other polluters that are now making national park air unhealthy for people and wildlife and exacerbating the harmful affects of global warming.
  • ...And No Coal in our Stockings. Adjacent oil and gas development, mining operations, and new, inappropriately sited energy corridors threaten national parks across the country. Congress needs to take action to ensure that large-scale mining operations and energy infrastructure do not adversely affect wildlife and our irreplaceable natural treasures.
  • All I Want for Christmas is… for National Parks to be a National Priority. NPCA’s own presidential candidate, Teddy Mather, has collected signatures from nearly 45,000 Americans who want the presidential campaigns to address national park issues like the ones stated here. With the centennial of the park system fast approaching in 2016, now is the time to make national parks a national priority.

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