OIA Supports Funding Commitment for Land and Water and National Parks - SNEWS

OIA Supports Funding Commitment for Land and Water and National Parks

OIA yesterday extended its thanks the U.S. House of Representatives, Interior Appropriations subcommittee, for its funding commitment to close to home recreation and National Park Service.
Author:
Publish date:

Outdoor Industry Association yesterday extended its thanks the U.S. House of Representatives, Interior Appropriations subcommittee, for its funding commitment to close to home recreation infrastructure as well as its support of a substantial funding increase for the National Park Service.

Under the leadership of Congressman Norm Dicks (D-WA), the House committee provided $50 million in funding for the Land and Water Conservation State Assistance program which is the nation's key program for building local biking and hiking trails in communities across the U.S. This amount is an increase over last year's funding of $30 million, and more importantly, establishes congressional support for a program the Administration has tried to eliminate.

House appropriators also provided $2.5 billion for the National Park Service, an increase of $228 million above FY2007. This amount includes an increase in the operations budget of the park service of approximately $200 million as requested by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne. This increase will allow the National Park Service to hire 3,000 seasonal rangers. The subcommittee also set aside $50 million to begin funding the Administration's National Parks Centennial Initiative.

The Centennial Initiative is the Administration's 10-year plan to invest up to $3 billion of new public and private money into the park system in preparation for the National Park system's 100th anniversary in 2016.

Finally, the House committee provided an increase of $13 million over FY2007 for recreation management in the U.S. Forest Service.

“We thank the House committee and particularly Chairman Dicks for a robust budget in support of our treasured public lands. In addition, we appreciate Secretary Kempthorne's vision and dedication in asking members of Congress to greatly increase funding for the National Park Service,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president of Outdoor Industry Association.

“Most importantly, we appreciate the committee's vision in its clear recognition that an essential component to the long-term health of our national parks includes a robust and well-funded Stateside Land and Water Conservation (LWCF) program,” Hugelmeyer added. “Close-to-home recreation opportunities funded by the Stateside LWCF encourage high frequency in the outdoor lifestyle and inspire a greater interest in visiting our National Parks.”

OIA will continue its work to ensure an equally strong funding bill is put forth by the U.S. Senate.

Related