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The National Park Service will host a public listening session regarding the National Park Service Centennial Initiative in St. George, Utah, March 29, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The session will be held at the Dixie Center in Entrada Room C, located at 1835 Convention Center Drive.
The President announced the National Park Service Centennial Initiative on the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service, August 25, 2006. In his Fiscal Year 2008 budget, the President proposed a $258 million increase over Fiscal Year 2006, and called for three additional $100 million components that could provide up to $3 billion in public and private investments over 10 years leading up to the National Park Service’s 100th birthday in 2016.
The listening session is one in a series that are being held around the country to provide an opportunity for the public to express their suggestions and ideas for preparing the national parks for the future. Park Superintendents and other staff from area National Park Service units will be present to discuss the Centennial Initiative, listen, and record public comments.
Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne has said, “This is a time for a thoughtful review of what needs to be done over the next decade – a great opportunity to think big and act boldly to develop a plan to prepare national parks for the future. By taking part, you will help guide staff at the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service in making decisions about the shape and structure of the Centennial Initiative.”
Participants will be asked to focus their comments on three vital questions:
- Imagine you, your children, or future generations enjoying national parks in 2016 and beyond. What are your hopes and expectations?
- What role do you think national parks should play in the lives of Americans and visitors from around the world?
- What are the signature projects and programs that you think should be highlighted for completion over the next 10 years? Signature projects can include restoring historic structures and landscapes, restoring natural ecosystems, renovating museums and visitor centers, integrating new technologies, improving trails, facilities, and recreations opportunities, enhancing educational and interpretive programs, better connecting children to their national parks, and many other possibilities that you may feel are important.
From the session discussions, the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service will identify signature projects and programs, set specific performance goals, and report to the President. If unable to attend the Listening Session, the public also may comment on the National Park Centennial Initiative online at www.nps.gov/2016, until April 2, 2007.