National Parks Group Applauds Support of Science and Discovery in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   July 21, 2008
Contact:   Greg Kidd, Senior Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 865.803.4503


National Parks Group Applauds Support of Science and Discovery in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

"Today’s National Parks Subcommittee field hearing by U.S. Senator Richard Burr to discuss the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory (ATBI) of Species in Great Smoky Mountains National Park highlights the role that national parks play as living laboratories and classrooms for scientific discovery. This program has engaged scientists, citizens, and schoolchildren in the discovery of nearly 900 new species and allowed the Smokies to become a leader in science and discovery.

We applaud Senator Burr for focusing attention on this valuable program, which can serve as a model for other parks nationwide. The ATBI engages citizens of all ages in learning about and protecting our parks. Data collected through this program benefits the parks by providing knowledge about the complexity of the resources within and around them, and by helping protect national parks from threats such as exotic species, development, and pollution.

The National Park Centennial Challenge, which is pending in Congress, has already helped begin a beneficial expansion of this program to parks across the country. We hope that Great Smoky Mountains National Park continues to receive the funds necessary to maintain this exemplary program, and the National Park System receives the funding necessary for this program to ensure that science and research remain paramount in national parks across the country.

Our national parks are classrooms for learning and discovery. We must ensure that our national treasures are protected and preserved for our children and grandchildren to enjoy."

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