From: The Honorable Raul M. Grijalva
Sent By: brian.joyner@mail.house.gov
Bill: H.R. 3556
Date: 12/1/2015

Dear Colleague:

 

From reflecting upon and commemorating the nation’s beginnings at Minute Man National Historic Site in Massachusetts; to finding solace in the cathedrals of wilderness at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming; and providing sober reflection at the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, DC, the National Park Service manages our shared cultural and natural heritage. The NPS has an imprint in nearly every neighborhood, through commemorative and technical assistance programs such 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. In 2016, the NPS will celebrate its 100th anniversary. 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 mandatory funding of $900 million annually in FY 16 – 18 to help address the deferred maintenance backlog in a targeted manner, a 1:1 cost share challenge for signature NPS projects, and a grants program for outdoor recreation and land and water restoration projects.

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

• Expands the eligibility age of participants to 30 years old  in the Public Lands Corps and extends the timeline for direct-hire authority to better recruit and hire more young and diverse Americans.

• Removes the authorization ceiling on the Volunteers in the Park program to increase the number of volunteers working in our national parks.

• Provides additional contracting tools to more effectively manage service providers for lodging, food and beverage, and other visitor services.

• Ensures the high standards of the educational and interpretive work of the National Park Service, through 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. I encourage you to co-sponsor the NPS Centennial Act.

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