U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee Chairman Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Ranking Member Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Congressmen Dave Reichert (R-Wash.) and Ron Kind (D-Wisc.) led a bipartisan and bicameral letter to President Obama urging him to commemorate the upcoming 100th anniversary of our national parks in 2016 and the role they play in supporting jobs, strengthening communities and enhancing our quality of life. Fifty-one members of the U.S. Senate and 171 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed the letter.
"The national park centennial provides an opportunity to reinvigorate the national parks for their second century of service," the lawmakers wrote in the letter. "We look forward to working with you and your staff to build on momentum from the 100th anniversary of the National Parks System to find a sustainable path forward for our national parks."
The bipartisan and bicameral letter builds on the National Park Service's efforts to prepare for the centennial, including its recent "A Call to Action" report, which reaffirmed the park service's core mission of looking after the nation's most treasured lands and sites while seeking new ways to engage and re-engage all Americans in the parks. The report also underscored the role the national parks play in supporting jobs and strengthening local communities.
To read the letter, scroll below:
President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
On the eve of the 100th anniversary of our National Park System, we invite you to work with us to formulate and execute a bipartisan, dynamic, and effective initiative to commemorate the national park centennial and prepare our national parks for their second century of service to the American people.
In three years, the nation will mark the 100th anniversary of the creation of the modern National Park System. Since the National Park Service Organic Act was signed into law in 1916, the Park System has grown to include splendid examples of America's natural and scenic heritage, as well as places of historic importance to our country. Support for the national parks is an issue most Americans agree is important -- particularly as our parks are enjoyed and utilized by persons across our country regardless of their background.
Past presidents and congresses have worked together at key times to repair, improve and enhance parks and facilities, to develop creative ways of connecting the American people with our national treasures and to better preserve our parks for future generations. The national park centennial provides an opportunity to reinvigorate the national parks for their second century of service. We look forward to working with you and your staff to build on momentum from the 100th anniversary of the National Parks System to find a sustainable path forward for our national parks.