The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Andrea Keller Helsel, NPCA, 202.454.3332

National Parks Conservation Association Testifies Before Congress in Support of Saguaro National Park Expansion


The nation's leading voice for the national parks, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association today testified before Congress in support of legislation to expand Saguaro National Park.

"The proposed expansion areas include a variety of unique
ecological, geological, hydrological, scenic, historical, and wildlife
components, enhanced by the serenity and rural character of the area,"
said National Parks Conservation Association Arizona Program Manager Kevin Dahl, who also spoke on behalf of the Rincon Institute, the Sonoran Institute, and the Tucson Mountains Association.

Dahl testified at a hearing held by the U.S. House of
Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public
Lands regarding H.R. 715, a bill that would expand the boundary of
Saguaro National Park, and study additional lands that warrant

In his testimony, Dahl pointed to the recreational benefits provided
by expanding the park, including the expansion of popular trails; the
preservation of important habitat and corridors for native wildlife;
and the protection of the park's scenic views-all of which is now threatened by Tucson's rapid development and urban sprawl.

"With the Tucson area growing dramatically, and new developments
threatening open natural areas, H.R. 715 is critical to preserving this
ecologically-rich park," he added.

Once the bill is passed by the committee, it can be voted on by the
full House of Representatives. A companion bill has not yet been
introduced in the U.S. Senate.

NPCA is a non-profit, private organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and enhancing the U.S. National Park System.