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405 Local Elected Leaders, Outdoor Business and Conservation Groups Call on President Obama to Protect Nation's Parks


By: Environment America

WASHINGTON, D.C. March 5, 2013 - Today, Environment America and 404 other groups released a letter to President Obama calling for lasting protections for our nation's parks from drilling, mining, overdevelopment, and underfunding.

Beloved parks from Acadia, to Yellowstone have been providing Americans with lifelong memories for more than a century. With supporters from the Mayor of Carmel, California, to the Iowa Farmers Union signed on, the letter demonstrates the tremendous value that citizens, outdoors organizations, and local business owners place on our nation's public parks.

"Parks all across the country are where some of our families' most unforgettable memories are formed — our first hikes, our first time camping, our first encounter with wildlife," said Aaron Weil, preservation advocate with Environment America. "That's why these places deserve permanent protections from pollution and development."

The letter urges President Obama to protect our parks by fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund in his upcoming budget proposal. The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides our public lands with critical protection from increased drilling, mining and overdevelopment, by giving our Park Service the ability to purchase privately owned land within or surrounding the park that would otherwise be developed and become a threat to the local ecosystem – all without spending a single taxpayer dollar.

The letter details how Congress' annual raiding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund has left a legacy of backlogged conservation and recreation needs.

To prevent drilling, mining and overdevelopment from threatening our treasured local, state and national parks, President Obama must address the undercutting of our nation's premier fund for land and water protection.

"President Obama has a great opportunity to help ensure that parks like Acadia and Yellowstone are protected by calling for full and dedicated funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund in his upcoming budget proposal. Our parks and future generations are depending on it," said Weil.

Environment America is the federation of 29 state-based, citizen-funded environmental advocacy organizations working toward a cleaner, greener, healthier future. www.environmentamerica.org


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