Thank You Letter to Secretary Kempthorne
A letter was sent to Secretary Kempthorne thanking him for his participation at the NPHA annual meeting and asking for action on two more important elements to the Centennial Initiative.
“Because of the efforts to encourage expansion of benefits arising from park visits, we ask that you begin the development of a strategic plan for what will be needed in additional concessioner-operated facilities in national park units to meet public needs in the Centennial year and beyond.
Second, we ask that you create an inclusive forum immediately for discussion of a communications effort which alerts the public to the upcoming Centennial.
National Park Centennial Fund Legislation
(March 12, 2008) Administration and Congressional leaders are pursuing an important ten year mandatory spending initiative to ready our national parks for the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service in 2016. There is broad bipartisan support in Congress and near unanimous support among park advocacy organizations on the legislation, the result of intense and fruitful discussions among some 40 key groups. The chief unresolved issue involves offsets for the 10-year, $100 million per year spending. NPHA requests active support of the legislation and specific support for the following provisions:
1) specific provisions for concessioner involvement in the Centennial through local park friends organizations and a national concessioners foundation, the latter to support regional and national projects;
2) inclusion of a semi-postal stamp as a portion of the off-set, allowing concessioners, gateway communities and park advocates to provide direct aid;
3) strong encouragement for leveraging federal funding by requiring that the annual mix of projects selected by NPS receive at least 1:1 matching non-federal support, although some of the individual projects may not achieve this goal.
We ask Members of Congress to express support for the National Park Centennial Fund legislation in a letter requesting swift committee action to both U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman and U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Nick J. Rahall II.
ACTION ALERT -- Concessioners Need to Lead the Way on Centennial Challenge Fund
TODAY is the day for action on the National Park Service Centennial Initiative. We need you to contact your Members of Congress with two messages by phone or email:
1) "We need your active efforts to get HR 3094, the National Park Service Centennial Challenge Fund Act, marked up by the Committee on Natural Resources on November 14 and readied for House floor action by the end of 2007."; and
2) "We need your active efforts to pass the 2008 Interior budget now and to include in it both the President’s requested increase in park operating fund and a $50 million start-up fund for the Centennial Challenge Fund."
You can call the main Capitol switchboard and ask for the office of your Member of Congress or your Senators: 202-224-3121
You can send an email with the above messages by going to:
www.senate.gov/ and pick your state in the top right box, then use the Senators’ web forms
Further request: the same message should go to the House Committee on Natural Resources leadership -- R and D:
Hon. Nick J. Rahall 202-225-3452
Hon. Don Young 202-225-5765
Hon. Raul Grijalva 202-225-2435
Hon. Rob Bishop 202-225-0453
Centennial Initiative Background Information
"Dear Mr. President,
Inspired by the passions of thousands of citizens and mindful that boldness matches our history, today I bring you our vision to ensure that the American love affair with national parks endures."
- Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne
The National Park Centennial Initiative proposes up to $3 billion of new public and private investment over 10 years to improve and expand national park conservation, preservation and visitor service programs in preparation for the parks’ 100th anniversary in 2016.
The Concessioner Centennial Council has offered a letter and paper to the Secretary outlining the outstanding concessioner efforts supporting the national parks:
(November 1, 2007) A very impressive collection of 75 national, regional and local conservation and recreation organizations have united to encourage the United States Senate to follow the House in providing an initial $50 million through the FY08 Interior appropriation bill -- including your organizations.
Other National Park Service Initiatives: