|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||August 13, 2009|
|Contact:||Shannon Andrea, Senior Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association, Phone: 202.454.3371 or Cell: 202.365.5912|
Obama Family to Visit Yellowstone National Park This Weekend
National Parks Provide Living Classrooms for Visitors and Schoolchildren
Statement by NPCA Senior Vice President for Policy Ron Tipton
“We are delighted that President Obama and his family, like thousands of others across the country, are taking advantage of the National Park Service’s free admission weekend to visit Yellowstone National Park. The President’s visit underscores the important role our national parks play as living classrooms, and the need for additional funding to ensure these educational opportunities remain available across the country.
“From the roaming bison at Yellowstone to the battlefields of Gettysburg, our national parks have tremendous potential for teaching and exciting children about our shared history as well as science, civics, and a variety of other topics. The upcoming centennial of the Park Service in 2016 gives us the opportunity to improve educational opportunities involving national parks to inspire and teach our future historians, educators, and scientists.
“There is an approximate $600-million annual operating shortfall and a backlog of maintenance projects that exceeds $8 billion, and more than $2 billion of private land to be acquired within park boundaries. We must ensure our national parks are well funded to address the parks’ crumbling historic buildings and trails, enhance the Park Service’s ability to protect wildlife, and provide needed public education and services. Further, as our nation becomes more diverse our national parks should fully represent our evolving history, culture, and diversifying population. By adding more park sites to the system we can make park visits more meaningful to all Americans.
“We hope Americans take this opportunity to visit a national park this weekend and reconnect with our national history, culture, and irreplaceable American treasures.”