Statement by Clark Bunting, President and CEO of the National Parks Conservation Association
“With continued inroads towards reflecting our shared and diverse heritage, the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) applauds the National Park Service for launching a study of the people, places, and events related to the history and culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans. None of our 401 national park sites currently have a central connection to lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender history, despite the many people and places across the country that contribute to the American story, from San Francisco to New York, Chicago and beyond.
“NPCA also commends philanthropist Tim Gill for his generous support in underwriting this multi-year study.
“The LGBT theme study is one of several recent initiatives that follow the common thread of taking deliberate steps to include more diverse stories within our National Park System. The National Park Service welcomed its first national monument dedicated to a contemporary Latino, Cesar E. Chavez, in 2012, and recently completed its Latino Heritage Theme Study. Sites related to African American leaders and important moments of history continue to be incorporated, including the recent national monument designations related to Harriet Tubman and Colonel Charles Young. The Park Service is also conducting an Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage theme study.
“Our national parks belong to all of us – a fact that is particularly important as we look towards the Park Service’s centennial in 2016 and its next 100 years. As America’s storyteller, it is commendable and appropriate for the National Park Service to examine themes that incorporate the history and significant events of our diverse population.”
About National Parks Conservation Association
Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) has been the leading voice in safeguarding our national parks. NPCA and its more than one million members and supporters work together to protect and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for future generations. For more information, visit www.npca.org.
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