National Parks Conservation Association Praises Investment in Parks in Senate Interior Bill, Expresses Disappointment in Legislative Riders

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 29, 2009
Contact:   Kristen Brengel, NPCA, 202.454.3380


National Parks Conservation Association Praises Investment in Parks in Senate Interior Bill, Expresses Disappointment in Legislative Riders

Press Statement by Kristen Brengel, National Parks Conservation Association Legislative Director

“The bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee last week contains an important funding increase for the annual operating needs of the national parks, makes vital investments in the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the preservation of America’s Everglades, our Great Lakes, and other nationally-significant ecosystems, and takes steps to restore our national treasures in time for the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service. In particular, the operations increase of $130 million in the Senate bill is slightly higher than the House bill, and we applaud the Committee’s action.

“The Senate bill however provides no federal funding for the Park Service’s public-private matching grant program, as requested by the Administration, and which has been used to fund important projects and programs in national parks across the country. The president requested $25 million, which House appropriators included in their bill; we hope this funding will be maintained in the final bill.

“NPCA strongly opposes language added to the bill that would allow a public elk hunt at Theodore Roosevelt National Park. The Park Service is now developing strategies for controlling the park’s burgeoning elk population; the rider would preempt and override the Park Service’s work and erode longstanding agency policy. We hoped that Congress and the Administration could have identified a common-sense solution, as has been employed at Rocky Mountain and other parks, to work with other federal agencies and local partners to protect our national heritage, keep visitors safe, and responsibly balance the park’s delicate ecosystem.

“We are also disappointed with the language that affects potential Wilderness in Point Reyes National Seashore. We hope that a mutually-agreeable arrangement can be reached with Congress, the Administration, and others deeply interested in the future of the national seashore.”

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