|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||July 2, 2013|
|Contact:||Tom Hill, Special Projects Director, National Parks Conservation Association P: 202.454.3377
Alison Zemanski Heis, Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association P:202.454.3332 C: 202.384.8762
National Parks Group Applauds Senator Nelson’s Support for Veterans and National Parks
Statement By: Tom Hill, Director of Special Projects
“The National Parks Conservation Association enthusiastically endorses Senator Bill Nelson’s (D-FL) efforts to provide employment opportunities for veterans, while helping to address maintenance needs at our national parks, with the introduction of his Veterans Conservation Corps Act last week. The new bill provides unemployed veterans with meaningful work at America’s treasured public lands including our 401 national park units across the country.
“Today, our national parks are facing more than an $11 billion backlog, much of which is the cost of labor for infrastructure repairs and upkeep at our national parks. Putting veterans to work in our national parks would provide a skilled workforce to address the maintenance backlog that continues to compromise park resource protection, facilities and visitor experiences.
“As a nation, we owe immeasurable gratitude to the returning men and women of America’s armed forces. Our veterans sacrifice so much to protect our everyday freedoms and it is our duty to assist them in every way we can as they return home to civilian life. Our national parks tell our shared story and help preserve and protect some of America’s most beautiful natural landscapes and historically significant places. Combining the needs of both veterans and the national parks makes eminent good sense.
“As the National Park Service prepares for the park system’s centennial in 2016, we urge members of the United States Senate to support this important legislation in the coming months.”