Secretary Kempthorne and NPS Director Bomar to Hold National Listening Sessions

Washington, DC – On March 13, 2007, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne and National Park Service Director Mary Bomar will launch a series of listening sessions on President Bush’s proposed National Park Centennial Initiative.

The first session will be in the area of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During the next three weeks, more than 12 sessions will be held around the nation on the President’s proposal to provide up to $3 billion of new public and private investment to improve and expand national park conservation, preservation and visitor service programs by the National Park Service’s 100th birthday in 2016.

Participants are being asked to focus their comments on three vital questions:

  • Think of your children and grandchildren enjoying national parks in 2016 and beyond. How do you imagine their visit? What are your hopes and expectations?
  • What role do you think national parks should play in the lives of Americans and visitors from around the world?
  • What are the signature projects and programs that you think should be highlighted for completion over the next 10 years?

Based on these discussions, Secretary Kempthorne and Director Bomar will identify projects and programs and set specific goals for more ranger-led programs, restored natural and cultural sites and greater volunteerism and philanthropy. They will present their recommendations to the President by May 31.

To read the full news release and to see the list of locations for these sessions, click here.