|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||May 16, 2013|
|Contact:||Lynn Davis, National Parks Conservation Association, 702.318.6524 or 702.281.7380
Shannon Andrea, National Parks Conservation Association, 202-365-5912
NPCA Lauds Bi-Partisan Support for Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument
Statement by National Parks Conservation Association Nevada Sr. Program Manager Lynn Davis
“The National Parks Conservation Association commends Nevada’s Congressional delegation for bi-partisan support to create a new unit of the National Park Service (NPS). The entire six-member delegation, with three Democrats and three Republicans, recently introduced the Las Vegas Valley Public Lands and Tule Springs Fossils Beds National Monument Act. The bill is sponsored by Senator Harry Reid (D), Senator Dean Heller (R), Congressman Mark Amodei (R), Congressman Joe Heck (R), Congressman Steven Horsford (R), and Congresswoman Dina Titus (D).
“Bi-partisan sponsorship of the federal legislation reflects the resounding and notable support from Nevada’s governor, state legislators, county commissioners, the mayors and city council members of Las Vegas and North Las Vegas, commanders at Nellis Air Force Base, business and tourism leaders, educators, conservation organizations and citizen groups. All have recognized the rare privilege of adding a new unit to the National Park System.
“The federal legislation transfers nearly 23,000 acres in the northwest part of the Las Vegas Valley from the Bureau of Land Management to National Park Service. The area is significant for Ice Age fossils – Columbian mammoth, massive bison and gigantic sloth, American lions and camels, and two heralded recent discoveries of sabre-tooth cat and dire wolf fossils. Uniquely, fossils in the area showcase a period of time from 7,000 years to nearly 250,000 years ago. The new national monument is expected to draw worldwide scientific interest as well as visitors from around the world.
“Tule Springs National Monument has the potential to be a model urban national park integrated into Southern Nevada’s tourism and business communities, and as an enhancement to Nevada’s educational systems. Nationwide, studies have found national parks to be economic drivers to surrounding communities and a 2012 poll reported that 95 percent of the American public believes national parks are important for honoring the nation’s special places.
“The National Parks Conservation Association looks forward to continuing to work with the Nevada congressional delegation, and the many community leaders and thousands of individuals who have signed petitions and postcards expressing support for a new national park. We further acknowledge the passion and commitment of the Tule Springs Coalition, for their unwavering work in seeing legislation introduced.”