|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||April 4, 2008|
|Contact:||Andrea Keller Helsel, NPCA, 202.454.3332|
National Parks Conservation Association Praises Introduction of Centennial Challenge Bill
Legislation would authorize 10-year program that matches private donations to national parks with federal funds
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The nation’s leading voice for the national parks, the National Parks Conservation Association today hailed the introduction of the National Park Centennial Fund Act in the U.S. Senate.
"This is an important step toward accomplishing the goal of restoring and revitalizing the National Park System in time for its centennial in 2016," said National Parks Conservation Association President Tom Kiernan.
The bill (S. 2817) will authorize the National Park Centennial Challenge program, which provides up to $100 million annually, through the park system’s centennial in 2016, to double every dollar privately donated to carry out important projects and programs, and inspire continued public and private investment in America’s national parks. Senators Max Baucus (D-MT), Susan Collins (R-ME), Norm Coleman (R-MN), and Jon Tester (D-MT) joined Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) in introducing the bill.
"Future generations will remember the leadership and foresight of this bipartisan group of Senators, who so clearly share the love affair that the American people have with the national parks," Kiernan said. "Everyone whose park experiences in the future are made better than they might have been will have these Senators to thank."
Congress provided nearly $25 million in the fiscal year 2008 omnibus Appropriations bill to jumpstart the National Park Centennial Challenge; the Department of the Interior is expected to announce the allocation of those initial funds later this month. In his statement on introducing the bill, Sen. Salazar said that it is his hope to see the bill pass this year.
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