PRESIDENT CARTER, NYC MAYOR BLOOMBERG, DAVID MCCULLOUGH SIGN FIRST-EVER LETTER FROM 100 PROMINENT AMERICANS TO CONGRESS SEEKING SUPPORT FOR AMERICA'S NATIONAL PARKS

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   February 15, 2007
Contact:   Andrea Keller Helsel, NPCA, 202-454-3332


PRESIDENT CARTER, NYC MAYOR BLOOMBERG, DAVID MCCULLOUGH SIGN FIRST-EVER LETTER FROM 100 PROMINENT AMERICANS TO CONGRESS SEEKING SUPPORT FOR AMERICA'S NATIONAL PARKS

Washington, D.C. – In a first-ever show of national support, more than 100 prominent Americans, including former President Jimmy Carter, today sent a letter to Congress seeking increased funding to restore America’s national parks. The letter appears today in full-page advertisements in both The Washington Post and Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, just as Congress holds its first hearing about the Administration’s proposed 2008 budget for the national parks.

"It is exciting and gratifying that such an impressive collection of eminent political figures, distinguished public servants, and national leaders have come together to speak up for America’s national parks," said National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) President Tom Kiernan. "Americans want national parks to be a national priority."

Today’s letter to Congress is signed by former President Jimmy Carter; Lady Bird Johnson, our former First Lady; former Utah Governor Olene Walker; actors Robert Redford, James Whitmore, Jerry Seinfeld, Tom Skerritt, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus; New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Holland America CEO Stein Kruse; former New Jersey governor and E.P.A. Administrator Christine Todd Whitman; preeminent journalist Walter Cronkite; Medal of Freedom winner and historian David McCullough; former Secretary of the Interior and Idaho Governor Cecil Andrus; N.A.A.C.P. Chairman Julian Bond, Lee Iacocca, and more than 100 other celebrities, CEOs, religious leaders, sitting governors and mayors, scientists, writers, artists, retired secretaries of the Department of the Interior, and former members of Congress.

"We urge members of Congress and the President to engage in a sustained effort between now and the centennial of the National Park System and the National Park Service in 2016 to provide the resources necessary to protect our national inheritance and to ensure that our society receives the full benefit of our national parks for generations to come," the letter reads.

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today testifies before the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee on the Administration’s proposed 2008 budget for the Department of the Interior, which includes a $258-million increase for the operations of the National Park Service. NPCA is advocating that Congress approve this budget request and provide additional funding for national park land acquisition needs. America’s national parks are now short more than $800 million annually for operations.

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