The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 30, 2001

The National Parks Legacy Project

"Good stewardship of the environment is not just a personal responsibility, it is a public value...Our duty is to use the land well, and sometimes not to use it at all. This is our responsibility as citizens, but more than that, it is our calling as stewards of the earth."
President George W. Bush, May 30, 2001

Executive Summary

President Bush's "National Parks Legacy Project" includes proposals to enhance the protection of America's national parks and increase the enjoyment of those visiting the parks. Examples of proposals in the National Parks Legacy Project include:

Our National Parks

The United States has the world's greatest system of national parks. The National Park System, established in 1916, protects some of America's most beautiful and essential natural resources and historical treasures. Our parks connect Americans with their lands - giving us a common landscape and shared national treasures.

This extensive national park system of 384 park units on 83 million acres now receives over 287 million visitors annually. An aging park infrastructure, stressed by increased use and years of inadequate funding for maintenance, threatens these national treasures and our ability to enjoy them. We need to take action now to ensure that these unique resources are available for the enjoyment of future generations of Americans. And, we have an opportunity to be responsible stewards of the land by improving our understanding of complex relationships of plants, animals, and ecosystems--an understanding essential for sound management.

The National Parks Legacy Project

President Bush is committed to improving our parks so that current and future generations will enjoy these national treasures. He will fulfill the promise of preserving an outdoor legacy--a legacy bequeathed to us by Teddy Roosevelt and other early visionaries who understood the importance of these great landscapes, ecosystems, and historic and cultural settings The President proposed in his 2002 budget the first steps to ensure that we effectively maintain and enhance our national parks. Goals for the National Parks Legacy Project include: enhancement of ecosystems, improvement of outdoor opportunities, better infrastructure, and accountability through performance goals. Specifically these goals include:

Funding for the National Parks Legacy Project

In the first step to achieve the goals of the National Parks Legacy Project, the President proposed in his first budget:

Measuring and Achieving Long-Term Success

Conservation is not ultimately about programs; it is about results. It means measuring improvements in water quality, stream flows, and plant and animal survival. It means tracking how efficiently we use resources. The President has proposed a five-year plan to improve the management of our national parks to conservation while increasing opportunities for recreational enjoyment. Specifically, the President's plan will work to:

In addition to the five-year plan to improve management and conservation, the President is announcing the following ongoing initiatives, as part of the National Parks Legacy Project:

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