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Andrea Keller Helsel, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 202.454.3332
National Parks Conservation Association Praises Obama Administration Budget Proposal for National Parks
Statement by National Parks Conservation Association President Tom Kiernan
WASHINGTON - February 27 - "In keeping with his campaign promise to address the critical needs of our national parks, President Obama has proposed a fiscal year 2010 budget for the national parks that continues the federal commitment toward restoring our national parks in time for the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service.
"The president's budget proposal includes an increase of $100 million plus inflation to operate and maintain our national parks, funds the parks' public-private partnership program, and offers a solid commitment to fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which would help to prevent inappropriate development inside national parks.
"This funding will also help to rehire rangers in our national parks, cover increasing fixed costs, maintain historic buildings, offer public education programs, and begins to address other critical needs created by the parks' chronic, $750-million annual operating shortfall and a backlog of maintenance projects that exceeds $8 billion.
"We applaud the president for proposing $130 million for land management agencies, including the National Park Service, to assess and respond to the effect of global warming on wildlife. America's National Park System is the wellspring of America's wildlife. Sustaining healthy fish and wildlife populations in our national parks requires unspoiled parkland and water habitat, migration and movement corridors, and healthy adjacent lands.
"The Obama Administration clearly recognizes the importance of national parks to our economy, American jobs, quality of life, and future, and, as evident by this budget proposal, intends to help protect this legacy for our children and grandchildren."