Saturday, December 17, 2005

Statement by Craig Obey, Vice President for Government Affairs, National Parks Conservation Association

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is a statement by Craig Obey, vice president for government affairs, National Parks Conservation Association:
The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is thrilled to announce the defeat of the damaging last-minute provision in the National Defense Authorization bill that would have carved up part of Channel Islands National Park for military use, despite no such request from the Department of Defense. The proposal would also have closed all or part of Santa Rosa Island to the public, and undermined a court-agreed settlement.
"Congress and the American public effectively rebuked this outrageous effort to chop up a national park and deny the public full access," Obey said. "Channel Islands belongs to all Americans and to future generations; it is not a playground for a select few."
"America's heritage is safe, at least for the moment, because of the efforts of Sen. John Warner (R-VA), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Sen. Craig Thomas (R-WY), Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), and others, who stood up for Channel Islands."
In 1996, NPCA sued the National Park Service for illegally permitting a private hunting operation on Santa Rosa Island, which closes the park to the public several months each year and negatively affected native wildlife. By court-agreed settlement, the hunting operation is slated to phase out by 2011.

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