Statement by Sharon Mader, Grand Teton Program Manager, National Parks Conservation Association
“Two years ago, when the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the Wyoming legislature hammered out an agreement for the federal agency to purchase approximately 1,400 acres of state-owned lands inside Grand Teton National Park, we were elated but knew it would be an uphill battle to secure the funds to permanently protect the park. The potential inappropriate development on this site would permanently scar this beloved American icon and smash the hopes of many seeking to finally complete the original vision for Grand Teton National Park. And after years of hard work, we are pleased that the first payment of $16 million has been made, bringing NPCA’s long-term vision for preserving these threatened lands one step closer to reality. In a time of challenging fiscal decisions and concerns about balancing the nation’s budget, it is truly a holiday blessing that decision-makers recognized the value of this remarkable landscape.
“This payment, which has been made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), is the first critical step in permanently securing these properties and now it is up to Congress and the Department of the Interior to come up with innovative future funding solutions and possibly legislation to complete the $107 million purchase by 2015.
“This great victory would not have been possible without the leadership of the Administration, the National Park Service, the Department of the Interior, the Wyoming Congressional delegation, the Wyoming Governor’s Office and State Land Board, Teton County state legislators, and the Teton County Commission. Their vision and voices will live on in the land conservation legacy begun many years ago by John D. Rockefeller — an enduring gift to the American people.“
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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