Tucson, AZ — In advance of the 91st anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS) on Saturday, August 25, Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands today noted the challenges and opportunities facing the NPS as it approaches its 100th anniversary in 2016.
“Historically, National Parks have been a big part of the Subcommittee’s agenda and this year has proved no different. Already more than 20 measures dealing with the National Park System have passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Notable measures include H.R. 359, the Cesar Chavez historic sites study, H.R. 1239, the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program reauthorization, H.R. 1100, the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site expansion, and H.R. 986, the Eightmile Wild and Scenic River designation. Just last month Congress passed and the President signed Public Law 110-47, the Grand Teton National Park Extension Act of 2007, a bipartisan measure to add approximately 50 acres to one of our great National Parks.
“A major initiative of the Subcommittee this Congress has been the development of legislation to commemorate the upcoming centennial of the NPS and prepare the National Park System for its second century. Earlier this year, the Administration submitted proposed centennial legislation and I, with the support of Natural Resources Committee Chairman Nick J. Rahall, introduced H.R. 3094, the National Park Centennial Fund Act. The Subcommittee held a hearing on these proposals on August 2, 2007.
“The National Park Centennial Fund Act goals are to provide a sustained level of public funding to ensure that the NPS can meet the challenges and opportunities before it, as we move towards the system’s second century. Science and sound preservation management principals provide our National Parks with the highest level of protection. Preservation must be central to the designation of any National Park Centennial Fund project award.
“As the NPS Centennial approaches, there is a consensus among policy makers and the American people that this milestone must be viewed as an opportunity to recommit ourselves to enhancing the National Park System and building a stronger, more diverse, better trained, and better equipped National Park Service. I am committed to working to help ensure that our National Parks and NPS employees can successfully meet the challenges of the next 100 years.”