National Parks Conservation Association Applauds Increase in Funding for National ParksInterior Bill Helps Address Park Needs

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   October 29, 2009
Contact:   Kristen Brengel, Director of Legislative & Government Affairs, Phone: (202) 454-3380 or Cell: (202) 320-2913
Shannon Andrea, Acting Director of Media Relations, Cell: 202-365-5912


National Parks Conservation Association Applauds Increase in Funding for National ParksInterior Bill Helps Address Park Needs

Statement by NPCA President Tom Kiernan

"The bill approved by Congress tonight increases critical funding for the annual operating needs of the national parks as well as vital investments in the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the preservation of America’s Everglades, Great Lakes, and other nationally-significant ecosystems. This bill demonstrates a concerted effort by Congress and the Administration to restore our national treasures in time for the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service.

“America’s national parks will greatly benefit from the operations increase of $130 million, which will help reduce the current funding shortfall. As a result, in FY 2010, the Park Service will be able to hire more rangers, fill out the authorized boundaries of many parks, and enhance its ability to address the impacts of climate change on our national parks. 

“NPCA is pleased that language added to the bill that would have allowed a public elk hunt at Theodore Roosevelt National Park was removed. The Park Service is now developing strategies for controlling the park’s burgeoning elk population; the rider would have overridden longstanding agency-wide policy.

“While the bill better meets many National Park System needs, it falls short of the Administration’s $25 million request to fund the Park Service’s public-private matching grant program. This program will receive $15 million to fund important projects and programs in national parks across the country—an increase over FY 2009, but less than the Administration’s request. We are hopeful that the National Park Service will work effectively with partners to identify compelling projects to leverage philanthropic donations, and show Congress the value of an increased commitment to this program in the future.  

“We are disappointed with the language that could preclude wilderness in Point Reyes National Seashore by allowing an oyster business to continue operating past the expiration of its current lease. The provision leaves the decision on whether this area gains full wilderness status in the hands of Interior Secretary Salazar.”

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