NPT News - January 2013

January 2013 ISSUE

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

Congressman Mike Simpson to Receive 2013 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award

National Park Trust is pleased to announce that Congressman Mike Simpson of Idaho will be the recipient of the 2013 Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award for his record of committed bipartisanship in protecting parks and improving public access to our nation’s greatest natural treasures. As Chair of the House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives, Simpson has worked across the political aisle to create balanced legislation that benefits both public lands and people. He worked on legislation to secure 330,000 natural acres in Idaho’s Boulder and White Cloud Mountains and to create a wheelchair-accessible path at Sawtooth National Recreation Area. Simpson’s work to preserve parks in Idaho has culminated in his sponsorship of the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA), which will create 3 new protection areas within Idaho and promote outdoor recreation vital to public health and our nation’s economic recovery.

The Vento Award was established in 2000 by NPT to honor the memory and legacy of Bruce F. Vento, a twelve-term congressman from Minnesota, dedicated environmentalist, and a champion of legislation for America’s parks. Past recipients include Senator Jeff Bingaman (NM), Senator Susan Collins (ME), Senator Mark Udall (CO), Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (CA), Senator John McCain (AZ), Senator Harry Reid (NV), Congressman George Miller (CA), and Congressman John Lewis (GA).

"Chairman Mike Simpson is a wonderful example of a congressional leader who works to find common ground in addressing the issues that impact our treasured national parks, our environment and historic sites. He is a very deserving recipient of NPT's Bruce F. Vento Public Service Award," said Sue Vento, NPT Leadership Council.

Read the full press release here.

Secretary Salazar Returns Home to Colorado

On January 16th, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that he will return to his home state of Colorado, having fulfilled his promise to President Obama to serve four years as Secretary. Salazar has informed President Obama that he intends to leave the Department by the end of March.

Secretary Salazar has helped usher in a new era of conservation to protect America's lands, wildlife, and heritage. Under the banner of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors program, the Department of the Interior has established ten national wildlife refuges and seven national parks since 2009; established forward-thinking protections for wildlife and preserved millions of acres of land; and implemented community-driven, science-based conservation strategies that take into account entire ecosystems and working landscapes.

For more, click here.

Superstorm Sandy Relief Bill

National Park Trust signed on to a letter supporting the passage of an amendment to the Superstorm Sandy Relief Bill in the House of Representatives sponsored by Rep. Frelinghuysen. (R-NJ). It contains additional, critically needed funds for communities and for national parks to recover. Without these funds, it is uncertain if national parks in the northeast region will even be able to open for summer tourists.

When Superstorm Sandy hit last fall, it devastated communities, families, businesses and national parks. Some of our greatest treasures, like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Governor's Island, and Sandy Hook at Gateway National Recreation Area were extensively damaged and some areas remain closed indefinitely.

In addition to providing the funding that recovering communities need, the Frelinghuysen Amendment will provide enough resources to rebuild critical infrastructure in the national parks that were damaged by the storm and help them prepare for future disasters. Without adequate disaster relief, the National Park Service will be forced to absorb the costs of the storm, thereby cutting into its already strained budgets.

With widespread support, the amendment passed the House of Representatives on Tuesday night January 15th.
For more information click here.

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Buddy Bison Escapes the Winter Cold at Biscayne National Park

This past December, NPT’s lovable woolly mascot, Buddy Bison, traveled to Biscayne National Park in South Florida to catch some sun and make new friends. NPS-Biscayne Ranger, Gary Bremen, wrote more about Buddy’s involvement in events at the park:

On December 9 and 10, Buddy Bison made his first trip to the subtropics when he stopped in at Biscayne National Park in South Florida. Buddy had a busy couple of days! First he was on hand to say welcome to 87 kids who became US Citizens at a special children's naturalization ceremony held at the park. Immediately following that, Buddy got to take part in the kickoff for the 13th season of the park's multi-award-winning Family Fun Fest. The theme of the event was "American All Stars" and featured hands-on activity stations about great Americans commemorated in other National Parks across the country. They included Clara Barton, George Washington Carver, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Muir and the unsung great Americans who came through Ellis Island. By welcoming new citizens in a place that they now own, then immediately providing ways to learn about other National Parks, Biscayne is creating a new generation of stewards for the park and the National Park Service. The following day, Buddy was again on hand to welcome 93 adults who became citizens. That event was well-covered by the local news media.

Buddy then enjoyed a few days of rest before making cameo appearances between Christmas and New Year...the busiest week of the year for South Florida tourism. AND...he avoided all that nasty winter weather in DC around the holidays! That's one lucky bison!

School Contest Open to All Kids!

National Kids to Parks Day is fast approaching! In addition to joining the thousands of others around the country for a day of outdoor fun, students can win a park scholarship for their school. NPT will award scholarships up to $1,000 to winning entries, which will then be used to fund park event during the week before KTP Day on May 18. The deadline for all trip proposals is March 1, 2013!

The contest is open to all schools and grades pre-K through 12th!

Last Chance to Order Your 2013 NPT Calendar!

Want to support our mission while organizing your daily life? Then order NPT’s 2013 calendar! Our calendar features photos of our nation’s parks and highlights our work. The proceeds from all calendar sales will support our park preservation and youth education programs.

Get your 2013 calendar today and watch this video that summarizies our accomplishments in 2012!


NPT 2012 Video


The "Secrets" Almost Out!

NPT is a proud partner with National Geographic on the new Secrets of the National Parks book coming in April 2013! Learn about the best experiences beyond the tourist trail and find undiscovered scenic spots to explore on your next park adventure! There are 350 tips from local experts. The Introduction is written by NPT's board chair, Bill Brownell and quotes from NPT VIPs are featured including Ken Burns, Secretary Ken Salazar, Senator Mark Udall, and Senator Susan Collins.

And remember that all 398 national parks are free on January 21st
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