DearColleague.us

Letter

Edward Markey

From the office of:

Edward Markey

From: The Honorable Raul M. Grijalva
Sent By: brian.joyner@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 3556
Date: 10/28/2015

Dear Colleague:

Please join me as a cosponsor H.R. 3556: The National Park Service Centennial Act. In 2016, the National Park Service celebrates the 100th anniversary of “America’s best idea.”

The NPS provides this nation with a means to reflect upon and commemorate its beginnings at Minute Man National Historic Site in Massachusetts; to find solace in the cathedrals of wilderness at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming; and sober reflection at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC. It has an imprint in nearly every neighborhood through the Land and Water Conservation Fund and National Register of Historic Places, just 2 of the 40 programs that benefit the public. To capture all of these themes, to interpret them to the world as “This is who we are, here are our values” is a powerful statement.

As the nation evolves and expands, so does the NPS. To give the NPS the authorities and resources it needs during its Centennial to protect and preserve the nation’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations, join me in support of the NPS Centennial Act.

Key provisions of the proposed legislation include:

• Provides funds in each of FY 16 – 18 to make necessary improvements to park infrastructure and help address the deferred maintenance backlog in a targeted manner.

• Establishes a Second Century Endowment, held by the National Park Foundation, to help the Foundation leverage private donations for NPS projects and programs.

• Strengthens the National Park Service’s capacity to provide visitor services and protect the special places in its care by expanding eligibility for young people to participate in the Public Lands Corp, which will extend the timeline for direct-hire authority through that program, resulting in the ability to recruit and hire more young and diverse Americans.

• Allows for increased funding to support the National Park Service’s Volunteers in the Park program by removing the authorization ceiling. Last year, the program engaged at least 247,000 people who volunteered nearly 6.7 million hours of time.

• Allows the National Park Service to use additional contracting tools, which are more consistent with industry practices, to contract with commercial visitor service providers for lodging, food and beverage, and other visitor services.

• Provides clear authority for the educational and interpretive work of the National Park Service, including new methods of reaching people from different cultural backgrounds, abilities, and ages, and innovative approaches to learning and communicating with visitors.

H.R. 3556 provides NPS with tools to update critical infrastructure, improve visitor experience, and prepare for the next 100 years of telling America’s story. For more information or to cosponsor, please contact Brandon Bragato with the Natural Resources Committee Democratic staff.

 

Peace,

Raúl M. Grijalva
Ranking Member

House Committee on Natural Resources