|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||February 5, 2013|
|Contact:||Kati Schmidt, Senior Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association: 415.728.0840; Mobile: 415.847.1768|
National Parks Group Echoes Former Interior Secretary’s Call to Preserve Public Lands
Statement by Tom Kiernan, President, National Parks Conservation Association
“The National Parks Conservation Association agrees with former Interior Secretary Babbitt’s emphasis on protecting and preserving more public lands as national parks, monuments and wilderness in the next four years and beyond.”
“As we look to the upcoming centennial of America’s National Park System in 2016, improving park boundaries to more adequately protect nationally significant resources and expanding our park system to protect lands that represent ecological and cultural diversity should be a priority as we lose land to energy development.”
“The Obama Administration has taken important steps to enhance the National Park System by designating the Fort Monroe and César E. Chávez National Monuments, both historic sites that help us tell important and diverse American stories. There’s a lot more to do. It’s time to build on the vision of the National Parks Service’s Call to Action and the President’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative, and protect more of our cultural and natural heritage for the benefit of our children and grandchildren, before it’s gone. Expanding our National Park System is an ideal strategy for preserving the best of our nation's natural and cultural heritage.”
The National Parks Second Century Commission’s report found that America is losing at least one million acres a year to development--roughly equivalent to the size of Delaware. However, a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) graph indicates that more than two million acres were leased for oil and gas development in 2011.
Click here to view the BLM’s state-by-state breakdown of acres leased for oil and gas development, from FY 1988 to FY 2012.