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Contact: Nancy Stimson, 307 467 5283
Devils Tower, WY – Devils Tower National Monument is one of five national parks across the country selected to participate in the 2014 Transportation Scholars program of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks.
Now in its 13th year, this program selects emerging transportation professionals to work side-by-side with National Park Service staff to find solutions that address the growing and unique transportation issues in America's national parks, including visitor safety, traffic, pollution, and congestion.
"Our Transportation Scholars' contributions to America's national parks are invaluable. Their research and ideas help enhance visitor safety and accessibility, while simultaneously protecting America's national treasures," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "Addressing these transportation needs is vital to the future of our national parks."
"The work of the Transportation Scholars program is helping to improve the visitor experience and provide for the protection of the natural and cultural resources in our national parks," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "Having creative solutions to transportation issues in our parks will become increasingly important as the National Park Service prepares to begin its second century of stewardship."
This grant will be used to help Devils Tower National Monument formulate strategic solutions to solve vehicle and pedestrian congestion / conflict in the visitor center parking area. The 2014 Transportation Scholar will collect data, research alternative transportation options, and design infrastructure that would be used to improve visitor safety, traffic circulation, and overall experience while visiting Devils Tower.
Superintendent Reed Robinson stated "Devils Tower National Monument has identified traffic congestion and insufficient parking as the monument's number one short and long term priority issues. The transportation scholar grant will allow us to take the proactive steps necessary to provide a quality, sustainable, and safe experience for visitors, while preserving quiet and solitude for American Indian traditional use and personal reflection".
The Transportation Scholars program model has proven so successful that the Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center (TRIPTAC) launched a complementary program in 2011, expanding the program to other public lands. This extension, the TRIPTAC Public Lands Transportation Scholars Program, is based on the NPF program model and matches Transportation Scholars with other federal land management agencies. The two programs work together to train and mentor scholars with the shared goal of preserving our nation's valuable natural, cultural, and historic resources and enhancing the visitor experience by implementing sustainable, alternative transportation in national parks and public lands.
Previous scholars' work has resulted in fourteen million dollars in private and public funding to put the Transportation Scholars' plans into action. Past scholars have gone on to careers with the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration, the Department of Transportation, and many private consulting agencies.
The National Park Foundation's Transportation Scholars program is made possible, in part, through the support of CSX Transportation, Eno Center for Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, Motorola Solutions Foundation, the National Park Service, and the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Technical Assistance Center.
To learn more about Devils Tower National Monument, contact a park ranger at 307-467-5283, or go to our Facebook page at Devils-Tower-National-Monument-Official-NPS-Site.