The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Shannon Andrea, National Parks Conservation Association, P: 202.454.3371

National Parks Conservation Association Supports Legislation to Expand Service Opportunities in National Parks

Senate Subcommittee Hearing to Address Public Lands Service Corps Legislation


The nation's leading voice for the national parks, the
nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today
submitted testimony for consideration at the Senate Subcommittee
hearing on national parks, which supports legislation to create more
service opportunities in national parks and other public lands.

"In tough economic times, we have an opportunity to engage all
Americans in protecting our national parks and public lands across the
country," said NPCA Legislative Representative Alan Spears.
"Establishing a Public Land Service Corps will help reduce the
maintenance backlog facing our national parks, and foster stronger
connections between public lands and communities all across America."

The Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Public Lands and Forests today
will discuss S. 1442-the Public Lands Corps Act. The bill, sponsored by
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), builds upon the Serve America legislation
and the existing Public Lands Service Corps Act of 1993 to create
thousands of new, long-term service positions for young people and
older Americans in national parks, national forests, and other public
lands. NPCA advocates for the addition of at least 10,000 new,
full-time service positions to be devoted to work in our national parks
within the next few years, through the expansion of this bill.

In the national parks, which have a backlog of maintenance projects
that exceeds $8 billion, new Service Corps members might rehabilitate
campgrounds, restore historic structures, eradicate invasive species,
and help conduct science and research projects in the park system. They
might also reach out to communities and help enhance interpretations
and education of national park visitors.

The Senate Subcommittee hearing on Public Lands and Forests will
take place today, October 29 at 2:30 p.m. Companion legislation (HR
1612) is pending passage in the House.

For more information about Public Lands Service Corps, see NPCA's fact sheet here.

To view NPCA's testimony, please click here.

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