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VAIL REPORT SAYS NATIONAL PARKS HAVE NO FUTURE; NPCA REPEATS CALL FOR INDEPENDENT NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

 VAIL REPORT SAYS NATIONAL PARKS HAVE NO FUTURE;
 NPCA REPEATS CALL FOR INDEPENDENT NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
 WASHINGTON, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA) today praised a tough new report on the future of the national parks, but said that all of the recommendations in the "Vail Agenda" will come to nothing unless the National Park Service is made independent of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
 "As long as the Park Service remains within the Interior Department, our national parks have no future," said NPCA President Paul C. Pritchard. "While we applaud the recommendations of the Vail steering committee, we believe that they cannot be implemented if the Park Service remains within a cabinet department that is continually buffeted by the extraordinary pressures of the administration, the Congress, and special interest groups." The Park Service, Pritchard stressed, must be an independent agency if it is to implement the recommendations of the Vail report.
 "We agree with the Vail steering committee that the most fundamental aspects of the Park Service's mission have been compromised," Pritchard continued. "We agree with all of the committee's recommendations -- many of them are recommendations that NPCA has put forward over the years." While NPCA is heartened that the Park Service "was willing to use the occasion of its 75th anniversary for such a critical self-examination, we're afraid that, despite the thought and care that went into the Vail Agenda, our national parks will be in even deeper trouble as we enter the 21st century," Pritchard warned. "The problem is systemic and the solution must be systemic: We must remove the National Park Service from the Interior Department."
 Pritchard announced that NPCA will urge its more than 285,000 members to write their representatives in Congress to request legislative action to make the Park Service an independent agency. "Unless we succeed in this one important mission, the Park Service's hands will remain tied, and our precious national park resources will be in even greater danger," he said.
 The National Parks and Conservation Association is America's only national non-profit citizen organization dedicated to promoting the protection, enhancement and public understanding of the national parks. Founded in 1919, NPCA now has more than 285,000 members.
 -0- 4/8/92
 /CONTACT: Nick Clark, 202-223-6722, ext. 120, or Kathy Westra, 202-223-6722, ext. 121, both of the National Parks and Conservation Association/ CO: National Parks and Conservation Association ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: EXE


SB-TW -- DC014 -- 6234 04/08/92 12:02 EDT
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Date:Apr 8, 1992
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