NPT News - July 2012

JULY 2012 ISSUE

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NPT News
Our mission: Preserving parks today; Creating park stewards for tomorrow.
In this month's issue:

NPT Protects 120-Acres; Preserves Legend of Infamous Glacier Park Ranger

A 120-acre property within Glacier National Park has been protected by NPT and its partner The Trust for Public Land (TPL); preserving a popular, often-visited area of land which provides recreational access to park visitors and has a very unique history. The property is located on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River and was home to one of the first rangers in Glacier’s history – Dan Doody – who settled there in the early 1900's and became well-known for his "colorful" lifestyle and activities.

The river valley attracts hikers, equestrian riders, rafters, and anglers. In addition to securing recreation access and preserving important park history, the tract now protects a significant wildlife habitat zone between the national park and the Great Bear Wilderness in the Flathead National Forest and is part of National Park Service's Crown of the Continent initiative.

As a member of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Coalition and partner with the TPL, NPT advocated for the acquisition of the property. The Land and Water Conservation Funds covered the acquisition costs; however NPT was responsible for covering due diligence costs which included property appraisal, title work, and other fees to ensure the property was "ready" for acquisition.

"We are very pleased to work with The Trust for Public Land and the National Park Service to protect this second largest inholding and important wildlife habitat zone in Glacier National Park. This project highlights the essential role that the Land and Water Conservation Fund plays in preserving and protecting these critical lands," stated Grace Lee, executive director, National Park Trust.

Click here to read the press release detailing this important land acquisition.

NPT Makes Push to Preserve Civil War History

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, GA

This year, as our nation celebrates the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, National Park Trust has been partnering with several organizations including The Trust for Public Land (TPL) to strongly support the Department of the Interior (DOI) and National Park Service (NPS) in preserving key parcels of lands at significant Civil War battlefield sites including Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania National Military Park (VA), the Glorieta Battlefield unit of Pecos National Historical Park (NM) and Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (GA) – the latter park receives more visitors each year than any other historic Civil War battlefield in the country, including Gettysburg!

NPT Board member Lee Verstandig stated, “We have been working closely with TPL for several years in seeking funding to acquire a key parcel of 42 acres of land to be included in the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park. This acquisition would protect a portion of the Kennesaw Battlefield site where Union brigades took Nodine’s Hill on June 20, 1864 from Confederates, which subsequently enabled the Union army to overrun Confederates at Kennesaw Mountain and proceed south into Atlanta."

In the fiscal year 2013 budget, NPS has included $5 million in its DOI request to Congress for land acquisitions for these specific “Civil War Sesquicentennial Units”. Their goal is to preserve the valuable and unique history offered by these parcels of land that have yet to be transferred over to NPS. Now, as the nation celebrates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, there is no better time for this funding to add parcels to those existing Civil War sites in advance of the anticipated celebrations in 2013.

The National Park Trust has partnered with TPL, along with the Civil War Trust, National Trust for Historic Preservation and National Parks Conservation Association in writing a letter to DOI Secretary Ken Salazar and NPS Director Jon Jarvis in support of their request for those funds specifically for these three land acquisition units. These projects are critically important to add lands that have great historical significance which are currently at risk of development – both residential and commercial.

To learn more about NPT’s current and completed park preservation projects, click here.

Act Now: The Land and Water Conservation Fund Needs Your Help!

Throughout the National Park Trust’s nearly three decades of park preservation, The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) has been an important factor in many land acquisition efforts. Established in 1964, the LWCF is funded by royalties paid for offshore oil and gas leases in waters that belong to all Americans. LWCF uses those revenues – which do not derive from taxpayer dollars - to protect important American resources such as our treasured parks, waterways, forests, and wildlife refuges.

Despite the importance of LWCF to our American heritage, the recent Transportation Reauthorization Bill approved by the House-Senate conference committee did not include a Senate-passed provision to fund the LWCF at $700 million per year for the next two years, and to reauthorize the conservation program through 2022. Although this was a disappointment to the LWCF and the many organizations across the country who support it (including NPT), there is still a chance to get important funding from Congress. Act now: Click here to show your support for the LWCF! Together we can make a difference in Congress!

NPT Funding Helping Kids in the Twin Cities to Bring the Classroom Outdoors

Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary

In 2009, National Park Trust donated 300 native trees to the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary – an urban park located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Fifth and sixth grade students from a local school helped plant a forest of oaks, chokecherries and dogwoods. The park, which was once a contaminated railroad yard, now offers access to the natural world in the urban setting of the Twin Cities area. It is named after Congressman Bruce F. Vento of Minnesota – a 12-term member and champion of conservation legislation who is also the namesake of NPT’s annual public servant award.

The Lower Phalen Creek Project, a nonprofit community-led partnership, has been using funds received in a grant from National Park Trust to help the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary to realize its potential as a field trip destination for local schools – specifically those in under-served communities that have few outdoor experiences.

"Support from National Park Trust has been instrumental in launching the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary education program. With this support, The Lower Phalen Creek Project contracted with licensed science teachers and Dakota educators to create seven lessons that meet key Minnesota science and social studies benchmarks for seventh and eighth graders," said Director Sarah Clark. `

Apply Now: Scholarships Available for Minority Students Interested in the Environment

The National Hispanic Environmental Council (NHEC) is accepting applications from students in California, Arizona, and Nevada to participate in their upcoming 4th annual "California Minority Youth Environmental Training Institute" to be held August 5 -10, 2012 at CA State University, Channel Islands, in Ventura, CA.

Through a full scholarship NHEC will cover all costs for accepted students, including transportation, housing, meals, books, science equipment, and more for the 6 day long Institute. The CA Institute is an intensive, residential, science-based, environmental education and environmental career program for top students, aged 16 – 19 who are deeply interested and active in the environment. Students are selected competitively from CA, AZ, and NV. Students in both high school and college are eligible to apply.

Click here to apply now!

Summer Special: Free Gift with Buddy Bison!

Get Buddy Bison today! Throughout the summer, Buddy Bison is just $9.99! If you also purchase a Buddy Bison T-shirt, we'll throw in a lanyard for free!
 
When you buy Buddy Bison, you help send a kid to a park – all proceeds benefit our Kids to Parks National Scholarship Fund! Buddy Bison tells kids to "Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!"

Kids (and adults) love taking Buddy with them to parks and snapping a few photos. National Park Trust may feature your photos on Facebook, Twitter and the Where's Buddy Bison Been? map!
Email them to buddy@buddybison.org!
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National Park Trust  /  401 E. Jefferson Street, Suite 203  /  Rockville, MD 20850  /  Email: adam@parktrust.org  /  www.parktrust.org