Washington, DC – Today, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) announced that more than 105,000 Americans have signed their petition calling on Congress to stop cutting critical funding for national parks. The signatures were gathered through NPCA’s National Parks Protection Project.
“As we approach the Centennial of the National Park Service, we must ensure our national parks receive adequate funding for our children and grandchildren to enjoy,” said NPCA President Tom Kiernan. “This is by far the most successful petition drive we’ve ever had – in nearly 100 years of operations – and it’s time for Congress to take notice of how many people have joined this effort.”
NPCA founded the National Parks Protection Project as an effort to show both Congress and the American people why it is important to adequately fund the national parks for our children and grandchildren.
Our national parks not only protect America’s heritage, they are important to local economies nationwide. Research shows that every federal dollar invested in national parks generates at least four dollars of economic value for the American people. National parks support more than $13 billion of local private-sector economic activity and nearly 270,000 private-sector jobs.
“The federal government has a responsibility to keep our national parks adequately funded,” said Kiernan. “The National Parks Protection Project is our effort to explain why and I am grateful to the more than 105,000 people across the country who joined our effort.”
Glacier National Parki, where my three fantasy novels are set, has been plagued with these cutbacks. Even normal maintenance on trails, signs, structures and other parts of the infrastructure has been postponed again and again. When I first went to Glacier in 1963, the park advertised 1000 miles of trails. Now it advertises 700 miles of trails. If we are going to protect the wilderness, we need to spend what it takes to do it.