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Budget Request for $2.9 Billion for National Park Service

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

The Administration’s Fiscal Year 2012 budget includes a request of $2.9
billion for the National Park Service. The request continues vital
support for critical national recreation and conservation missions in
support of the Administration’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative. The
budget also includes cuts in several areas as part of a move toward
fiscal sustainability in the next few years.

National parks stimulate spending and job creation. “Taxpayer
investments in national parks result in far more than the obvious
recreational and educational dividends,” said National Park Service
Director Jonathan B Jarvis. “National parks also are tremendous economic
engines for their gateway communities. In 2009, park visitors spent
$11.9 billion and supported 247,000 jobs.

“The budget includes tough choices to cut spending in construction
and certain grant programs to address our nation’s critical budget
deficit. However, a proposed increase in investments through the Land
and Water Conservation Fund will step up our commitment to states and
communities, many of which are facing serious cutbacks of their own,”
Jarvis noted.

Overall, the budget proposal represents an increase of about $140
million over the FY 2010 enacted, targeted at park operations and LWCF
programs. An increase of $35 million will support critical park
operations that enhance the visitor experience and promote greater
cultural resource preservation and conservation. The proposed increase
in the LWCF — from $126 million in 2010 to $360 million — will mean
more grants to support local projects that increase access to outdoor
recreation and conservation in large urban centers and other areas
through restoration of open space and waterways.

The budget includes $10 million funded through the LWCF for
American Battlefield Protection Grants, which require a
dollar-for-dollar match with non-Federal funds to help State and local
governments and nonprofit organization partnerships to purchase and
protect threatened Civil War and other battlefields.

“The President’s budget will ensure that national parks continue
to serve the 285 million visitors who come every year to relax in
America’s great outdoors and learn about the people and places that make
up America’s story,” said Director Jarvis. “This is especially
important as we prepare for the start of our second century in 2016 and
begin commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War which we hope
will bring millions of new visitors to our more than 70 Civil War

For more information, visit www.nps.gov.

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