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Contact: Wendy Ross, 701-623-4466
Contact: Andy Banta, 701-572-9083
Contact: Craig Hansen, 701-745-3300
Plans are underway at Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site, Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, Theodore Roosevelt National Park and other sites throughout the country to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016. President Obama sent a request to Congress for a $3 billion budget for the National Park Service for fiscal year 2016 to ensure parks are prepared to welcome an expected increase in visitors celebrating the NPS Centennial. This is an increase of $432.9 million over the current year's budget. National park tourism is an important driver of North Dakota's economy. The proposed 2016 base operating budget for the three North Dakota national parks is $4.65 million. According to a recent economic impact report, that investment by the American public results in more than $39.2 million a year in visitor spending and 528 jobs in communities in western North Dakota. Theodore Roosevelt National Park Acting Superintendent Wendy Ross stated, "A budget increase to prepare for the National Park Service Centennial is a wonderful opportunity to invest in our communities and our parks in the 21st century. The dividend from this investment in our North Dakota parks will have a ripple effect in the surrounding communities and the entire state." The President's budget proposal supports the National Park Service in its efforts to engage the next generation of park visitors, supporters, and advocates. It includes a direct benefit to visitors by funding an increase to hire hundreds more seasonal employees in the familiar green and gray uniform. It also provides matching funds for Centennial Challenge Projects designed to leverage partner funding in supporting our national parks. Fort Union Trading Post, Knife River Indian Villages, and Theodore Roosevelt are just three 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 for their cultural and historic significance, scenic and environmental worth, and educational and recreational opportunities.