National Parks Conservation Association Praises Omnibus as Exciting, Important Step Toward Restoring National Parks by 2016 Centennial

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   December 18, 2007
Contact:   Andrea Keller Helsel, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 202-454-3332


National Parks Conservation Association Praises Omnibus as Exciting, Important Step Toward Restoring National Parks by 2016 Centennial

Press Statement by Thomas C. Kiernan, President, National Parks Conservation Association

“The leadership of Interior Appropriations Chairs Norm Dicks and Dianne Feinstein was essential to securing a much-needed $122-million operating increase for the national parks, nearly $25 million to begin funding the National Park Centennial Challenge, and $44 million to acquire nationally significant lands, some now threatened by development, in national parks across the country.

“This is an exciting and important step toward restoring the national parks by their centennial, and is a result of Congress and the Administration recognizing that taking care of our national parks should be a national priority.

“The operating increase will enable the National Park Service to fill some seasonal ranger positions and cover fixed costs, which had been straining park budgets; the funds provided to jumpstart the National Park Centennial Challenge, a public-private matching grant program, will allow important prototype projects to get under way while Congress continues to work to pass pending Centennial Challenge legislation.
 
“We understand that Congress and the Administration wanted to do even more to help restore the national parks, but were precluded by the complicated and difficult budget climate. For this year’s effort to be meaningful over the long term, it will be critical that Congress and the Administration build on it in next year’s budget, to continue the task of restoring the national parks for their centennial in 2016.”

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