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Contact: Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. –Grand Canyon National Park invites the public to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act on September 25th and National Public Lands Day on the September 27, 2014.
The park will commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act by hosting a series of special events Thursday, September 25. Celebrations will start at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 11:30 a.m. with a performance of The Grand Canyon Suite by the Grand Canyon School Band. There will be a special wilderness presentation by former U.S. Rep. Paul "Pete" McCloskey and Flagstaff-based author Scott Thybony at 7:30 p.m. at the Shrine of the Ages auditorium.
Serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1967 to 1983, Rep. McCloskey coauthored the Endangered Species Act and was involved in drafting the National Environmental Policy Act. He was co-chair of the nation's first Earth Day and remains an avid defender of wilderness. Mr. Thybony is known for his intimate knowledge of Grand Canyon's wild landscape. He is an anthropologist by education and a writer by profession. Thybony brings to his writing an enthusiasm for the natural world and those living close to it.
The Wilderness Act provides the highest level of public land protection in the United States. Ninety-four percent of Grand Canyon National Park qualifies for wilderness designation and is protected as such. Support for the September 25th events is provided by the NPS Wild50 Small Grants Program.
Celebrate National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 27 with fee-free entrance at Grand Canyon and all 401 national park units across the country. Park visitors are reminded that fee-free designation applies to entrance fees only and does not affect fees for camping, reservations, tours, or use of concessions. Visitors who plan to spend time in the park beyond September 27th will need to pay the regular entrance fee for the remainder of their stay.
Grand Canyon's Green Team, the Grand Canyon Association and Xanterra South Rim, is hosting filmmaker and photographer Peter McBride for a special evening program on September 27th at 7:30 p.m. in the Shrine of the Ages auditorium. Join McBride for an intimate, multimedia journey along the Colorado River –from source to sea –and learn more about this river's role in the arid West.
McBride has spent almost two decades studying the world with his camera. He has traveled on assignment to more than 70 countries for the publications of the National Geographic Society, Smithsonian, Outside, Esquire and many others. In recent years, he has turned his camera toward a subject closer to his heart and home –the Colorado River –a tapped waterway that no longer reaches the sea.
For additional information on these celebrations, please contact Elysha Iversen at (928) 638-7418 or Pamela Edwards at (928) 638-7713 or Marty Martell at (928) 638-7834.