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Centennial Challenge Project Approved

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Date: April 24, 2008
Contact: Steve Chaney, 707.465.7301
Contact: Rick Nolan, 707.465.7304
Contact: Chris Heppe, 707.465.7704

The Ancient Redwood Forest and Watershed Restoration Project is coming to Redwood National and State Parks in the first year of a 10-year program to reinvigorate America’s national parks. This three million dollar project, supported by a number of cooperating partners, will foster the recovery of some of this nation’s last remaining ancient redwood forests, protect critical salmon habitat, and work to inspire future generations toward being better stewards of the land.

“This is a large step for Redwood National and State Parks in our continuing restoration efforts,” said National Park Superintendent Steve Chaney. “We wouldn’t have been able to move forward in this restoration work without the cooperation of many partners who are supporting this effort. We so much appreciate their commitment. Generations to come will benefit from this work.” Acting California State Park Sector Superintendent Jeff Bomke added that “this work further strengthens the fine partnership between the National Park Service and California State Parks in restoring these sensitive lands.” 

National Park Service Director Mary A. Bomar said, “With the nearly $25 million Congress has appropriated and nearly $27 million of matching commitments from our park partners, the Centennial Initiative today moves onto the landscape and into people’s lives. It’s a great day for the National Park Service and a great day for Redwood National and State Parks.”

The National Park Centennial Initiative is a 10-year program to reinvigorate America’s national parks and prepare them for a second century. The initiative includes a focus on increased funding for park operations plus a President’s Challenge: up to $100 million a year in federal funds to match $100 million a year in philanthropic donations to the National Park Service.

“This is how we put our Centennial goals on the ground and it’s quite a beginning,” Bomar said. “We have 110 programs and projects involving more than 130 individual, public and non-profit partners benefitting 76 national parks in 38 states and the District of Columbia.”

The forest and watershed restoration effort at Redwood National and State Parks will focus on restoring lands impacted by commercial timber harvesting prior to becoming part of the park. The Mill Creek and Redwood Creek drainages will be the focus of this effort. The work will prevent erosion and protect stream and riparian habitats by stabilizing miles of old logging roads. The effort will work to ensure the development of old-growth forest characteristics by applying ecologically-based forest restoration prescriptions to impaired second growth forests.

The National Park Centennial Initiative provides a framework for the National Park Service to engage the public in its mission.  Its goals and strategies will embrace new constituents and gain support from a broad array of public and private partners to ensure America’s national parks continue to thrive into the next 100 years. This restoration effort at Redwood National and State Parks is supported by a number of partners including Save-the-Redwoods League, Smith River Alliance, Pacific Coast Fish, Wetlands, and Wildlife Restoration Association with grants from the California State Water Resources Control Board, State Coastal Conservancy and Wildlife Conservation Board.

Centennial Challenge programs and projects for 2008 elsewhere in the United Sates include:

  • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park where park rangers and staff will adopt the Class of 2016, today’s fourth-graders, and bring them into the park for special programs several times a year until they graduate from high school.
  • Nine national parks across the country will embark on a national effort to discover and catalog all plant and animal life in the national parks – technically speaking, they will conduct all taxa biologic inventories.
  • Padre Island National Seashore will expand its project to restore the endangered Kemps ridley sea turtle.
  • Upgraded and new interpretive trails at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Valley Forge National Historical Park, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, Point Reyes National Seashore and other parks.
  • Water quality enhancement, restoration of endangered mussels, reintroduction of Trumpeter Swans and wetland habitat learning experiences for visitors at Buffalo National River.
  • Creation of the Institute at the Golden Gate to Advance Preservation and Global Stability, Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco.
  • New or expanded Junior Ranger programs at many national parks.
  • Expansion of ranger interpretation at the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park and the George Washington Memorial Parkway with new technology including podcasts and videocasts.
  • Rejuvenate coral reefs with a community program at Biscayne National Park.

For a complete list of the 2008 National Park Service Centennial Challenge projects and programs please visit www.nps.gov/2016.

Did You Know?

Lyons Ranch

All that remains of a sheep ranch owned by the Lyons family for more than 100 years is a barn, several shepherds' cabins, and orchards. You can visit Lyons Ranch Historic Site via the Lyons Ranch Trail which begins at mile 17.0 on Bald Hills Road.