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Yellowstone Proposals Eligible for Centennial Challenge Matching Funds

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Date: August 23, 2007
Contact: Al Nash, 307-344-2010
Contact: Stacy Vallie, 307-344-2012
Contact: Christine Weinheimer, 406-586-6303

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior
Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 23, 2007 07-81
YNP: Al Nash or Stacy Vallie (307) 344-2010 or 344-2012
YPF: Christine Weinheimer (406) 586-6303

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YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK NEWS RELEASE

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Yellowstone Proposals Eligible For Centennial Challenge Matching Funds

Several projects designed to help American youth, researchers and scientists understand and protect Yellowstone National Park have been determined to be eligible for matching funds in 2008 under the proposed National Park Service Centennial Challenge.

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne unveiled the National Park Service Centennial Challenge proposal last August at the dedication of the new Canyon Visitor Education Center. A proposal before Congress calls for up to $100 million a year in public money to be matched by $100 million in private donations each year for ten years leading up to the National Park Service Centennial in 2016.

Among the Yellowstone projects eligible for matching funds is a "No Child Left Inside" initiative. The proposal is designed to help better connect school-age children with the natural world by giving them firsthand experience with the outdoors. This would include special programs for visiting school groups and underserved youth in the region, and expanding the Junior Ranger Program. Total cost of the project for 2008 and 2009 is $325,000. Federal funds would be matched from a multi-year $507,000 donation from the Toyota USA Foundation to the Yellowstone Park Foundation.

Support for scientific research is the focus of another Centennial Challenge matching grant proposal. The project would create a virtual Greater Yellowstone Science Learning Center designed to integrate the work of the park, academic and scientific communities in collaborative efforts to gather and use information to better protect and manage places like Yellowstone National Park. A $250,000 grant from Canon USA to the Yellowstone Park Foundation would be used to match federal money to fund the $445,000 project in 2008 and 2009.

Work to help preserve and protect over 40 thousand priceless artifacts housed at Yellowstone’s Heritage Research Center is another project eligible for Centennial Challenge matching funds in 2008 and 2009. The Yellowstone Park Foundation will provide a $160,000 match to federal funds, including $85,000 from a grant from Canon USA.

The ongoing project to build a new Old Faithful Visitor Education Center has also been declared eligible for consideration for funds under the Centennial Challenge Program. Congress has already approved $12 million toward the project. The Yellowstone Park Foundation is providing $15.7 million to help build the new facility, which is slated to open in the fall of 2010.

The Centennial Challenge eligible projects at Yellowstone National Park are among 201 projects at 116 parks in 40 states eligible for funding under the matching grant proposal. More information on the Centennial Challenge and the full list of eligible projects and programs is available on-line at the National Park Service centennial web site www.nps.gov/2016.

The Yellowstone Park Foundation has been Yellowstone National Park’s official non-profit fundraising partner organization since 1996. The Foundation has raised more than $42 million in contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations to support more than 135 projects in Yellowstone.

- www.nps.gov/yell -

Did You Know?

Yellowstone Wolf.

There were no wolves in Yellowstone in 1994. The wolves that were reintroduced in 1995 and 1996 thrived and there are now over 300 of their descendents living in the Greater Yellowstone Area.