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Contact: Andy Fisher, (520) 733-5139
Innovative Centennial Initiative Proposes Robust Investment to Revitalize National Parks and Public Lands for the Next Century
Tucson, AZ – Today, the White House presented a budget request including a $432.9 million increase for the National Park Service in 2016, the agency's 100 year anniversary, to provide support for critical conservation, preservation, and recreation mission.
"In 2016, the National Park Service will celebrate its Centennial by inviting hundreds of millions of Americans to find their park by visiting a park and sharing their favorite park story," said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. "This budget will prepare the National Park Service to ensure that every one of those visitors has a wonderful and safe experience."
Jarvis said, "This is an investment in America's Best Idea" that pays dividends in gateway communities across the nation. For every dollar appropriated to the National Park Service in the President's 2016 Centennial budget, $10 is returned to the American economy in the form of visitor spending, travel and tourism and construction jobs.
This centennial budget proposal is designed to expand capacity for parks across the nation as they prepare to welcome a new generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates to experience their national parks.The Centennial Initiative includes increased funding to support hundreds more rangers on the ground across the nation to support public enjoyment, resource protection, and education efforts.
"The President's request contains all the elements necessary for those of us who tend to America's Best Idea to repair an aging infrastructure, respond to climate change, host school field trips, and provide rangers to greet nearly 300 million visitors with the highest standard of public service," Jarvis said.
Saguaro National Park is working with local partners to leverage the increased funding to expand our capacity to bring underserved school students in to the park.Programs include Hiking Clubs which provide first hiking experiences for youth all across Tucson, and the Lost Carnivore program which puts science into the hands of middle and high school students seeking evidence of species seemingly missing from the park's West District.Working with Friends of Saguaro National Park, we are improving internship and entry level employment opportunities for Tucson's youth that are interested in possible career opportunities with the National Park Service though our Next Gen Ranger Corps program.
As the keeper of 405 national parks, 23 national scenic and national historic trails, and 60 wild and scenic rivers, the National Park Service is charged with preserving these lands and historic features for their cultural and historic significance, scenic and environmental worth, and educational and recreational opportunities. Additionally, National Park Service grant and technical assistance programs help revitalize communities and expand local recreation opportunities across the country.