|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||February 5, 2007|
|Contact:||Andrea Keller Helsel, NPCA, 202-454-3332|
Administration's Budget Makes Unprecedented Step Toward Restoring National Parks for Centennial
Washington, D.C. – The nation’s leading park advocacy group, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), today strongly praised the Administration’s fiscal year 2008 budget request for the National Park Service as an excellent step toward restoring the national parks and the experiences of visitors in them by the parks’ centennial.
"This budget proposal is a victory for all Americans who cherish our heritage and homeland. The Administration has responded to the serious needs of America’s national parks and proposed a dramatic and unprecedented investment to help restore our parks before their centennial," said NPCA President Tom Kiernan. "We applaud the President and Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne for their leadership and strong advocacy for the national parks, the Administration’s Centennial Challenge, and this budget proposal."
"Credit is also due to members of Congress who have repeatedly highlighted and sought to address the funding crisis in our parks," Kiernan added.
America’s national parks now operate with a system-wide shortfall in excess of $800 million annually. The Administration’s budget proposes investing an additional $258 million in the operating needs of the parks (over fiscal year 2006 budget levels) and also challenges philanthropists to increase their investments in the national parks by offering an innovative $100-million match program.
"This budget will greatly enhance education and resource protection in the parks—improving the parks and the visitor experiences in them," Kiernan added. "We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress to support this budget request as the beginning of a decade-long effort to allow our park system to meet the expectations of the public in the parks’ second century. Americans expect that our elected officials will make national parks a national priority."
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