|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||May 31, 2007|
|Contact:||Shannon Andrea, National Parks Conservation Association, 202.454.3371
Lindsay Buhles, National Parks Conservation Association, 415.989.9921, ext.22
Department of Interior Presents Centennial Vision for National Parks
NPCA says enhanced public investment needed to reach appropriately ambitious goals for parks
Washington, D.C.--A report presented to President Bush today by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne lays out an important vision of what the National Park System can be by its centennial in 2016, one that the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) says will require sustained public investment from the Administration and Congress in addition to what has already been proposed.
"This report presents a thoughtful vision for the National Park System that builds on several important prior efforts by champions of the system. We appreciate the Secretary’s continuing effort to engage and listen to the American public, including this latest step to further define the goals of the Centennial Initiative," said Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association. "The report presents an opportunity for Congress to help further frame and define a compelling vision and goals for the second century of the National Park System."
"The report effectively outlines the need for a sustained, aggressive influx of additional resources for the National Park Service leading up to 2016," said Kiernan, an effort that was aided tremendously last week when the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee proposed $2.5 billion for the National Park Service, a $228 million increase over fiscal year 2007. The full House is expected to vote on that proposal in June. Enactment of the House proposal will be critical, as will a strong budget proposal from the administration next February for fiscal year 2009.
"We look forward in the coming months to working with the Administration, Congress, and the American people to continue making national parks a national priority," said Kiernan.
The report is the culmination of a series of steps in the Centennial process that began last August 25 on the 90th anniversary of the National Park System. At that time, Secretary Kempthorne announced the National Parks Centennial Initiative, which proposes up to $3 billion of new public and private investment over the next ten years to prepare the parks for their centennial celebration in 2016. Interior intends to release a second report on August 25 of this year, the actual anniversary of the establishment of the park system and the National Park Service, that outlines key strategies for centennial projects and programs identified by each of the 391 units of the National Park System.
This spring thousands of people participated in a public comment process, offering up their visions for the National Park System by 2016.
The National Park Centennial Initiative report is available at: http://www.nps.gov/archive/2016/assets/files/2016presidentsreport.pdf.