[Senate Hearing 110-185] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office] S. Hrg. 110-185 CENTENNIAL CHALLENGE ======================================================================= HEARING before the SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS of the COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES UNITED STATES SENATE ONE HUNDRED TENTH CONGRESS FIRST SESSION TO RECEIVE TESTIMONY ON S. 1253, A BILL TO ESTABLISH A FUND FOR THE NATIONAL PARK CENTENNIAL CHALLENGE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES __________ AUGUST 2, 2007 Printed for the use of the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 38-893 PDF WASHINGTON DC: 2007 --------------------------------------------------------------------- For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office Internet: bookstore.gpo.gov Phone: toll free (866)512-1800 DC area (202)512-1800 Fax: (202) 512-2250 Mail Stop SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-0001 COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES JEFF BINGAMAN, New Mexico, Chairman DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii PETE V. DOMENICI, New Mexico BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota LARRY E. CRAIG, Idaho RON WYDEN, Oregon LISA MURKOWSKI, Alaska TIM JOHNSON, South Dakota RICHARD BURR, North Carolina MARY L. LANDRIEU, Louisiana JIM DeMINT, South Carolina MARIA CANTWELL, Washington BOB CORKER, Tennessee KEN SALAZAR, Colorado JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey JEFF SESSIONS, Alabama BLANCHE L. LINCOLN, Arkansas GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont JIM BUNNING, Kentucky JON TESTER, Montana MEL MARTINEZ, Florida Robert M. Simon, Staff Director Sam E. Fowler, Chief Counsel Frank Macchiarola, Republican Staff Director Judith K. Pensabene, Republican Chief Counsel ------ Subcommittee on National Parks DANIEL K. AKAKA, Hawaii, Chairman BYRON L. DORGAN, North Dakota RICHARD BURR, North Carolina MARY L. LANDRIEU, Louisiana LISA MURKOWSKI, Alaska KEN SALAZAR, Colorado BOB CORKER, Tennessee ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming BLANCHE L. LINCOLN, Arkansas JEFF SESSIONS, Alabama BERNARD SANDERS, Vermont GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon JON TESTER, Montana MEL MARTINEZ, Florida Jeff Bingaman and Pete V. Domenici are Ex Officio Members of the Subcommittee C O N T E N T S ---------- STATEMENTS Page Akaka, Hon. Daniel, K., U.S. Senator from Hawaii................. 1 Barrasso, Hon. John, U.S. Senator from Wyoming................... 4 Bingaman, Hon. Jeff, U.S. Senator from New Mexico................ 2 Bomar, Mary, Director, National Park Service, Department of the Interior....................................................... 6 Buchholtz, Curt, President, National Park Friends Alliance, Estes Park, CO....................................................... 28 Burr, Hon. Richard, U.S. Senator from North Carolina............. 3 Cipolla, Vin, President And Chief Executive Officer, National Park Foundation................................................ 19 Kiernan, Tom, President, National Parks Conservation Association. 23 Salazar, Hon. Ken, U.S. Senator From Colorado.................... 5 APPENDIXES Appendix I Responses to additional questions................................ 39 Appendix II Additional material submitted for the record..................... 49 CENTENNIAL CHALLENGE ---------- THURSDAY, AUGUST 2, 2007 U.S. Senate, Subcommittee on National Parks, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:34 p.m. in room SD-366, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Daniel K. Akaka presiding. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. DANIEL K. AKAKA, U.S. SENATOR FROM HAWAII Senator Akaka. Good afternoon. Ms. Bomar. Good afternoon. Senator Akaka. Today, the Subcommittee on National Parks will receive testimony on S. 1253, the administration's Centennial Challenge Initiative for the National Park Service, which Senator Bingaman and I introduced by request earlier this year. The Centennial Challenge is one of the most ambitious national park funding proposals put forward in recent years. For that, I congratulate Secretary Kempthorne and Director Bomar for your efforts to secure additional funding for our national parks. While I have questions about how this initiative will be implemented, and concerns with some provisions in the bill, I strongly support any efforts to increase funding for our national parks. So, I hope to use this hearing as an opportunity to explore and discuss possible changes that will help this effort move forward. Originally, I had intended to hold an oversight hearing to examine the state of the national park system before holding a hearing on the Centennial Challenge legislative proposal. However, after talking to the Director--we had a great first meeting--and talking to her last month, I agreed to move up the hearing on S. 1253 so that we could get this scheduled before the August recess. So, here we are. However, I hope we can use this hearing to address some of the general park oversight issues, as well. Among the key issues in S. 1253 that we will need to address is the question of whether the bill will need to be offset; and, if so, whether those offsets--what those should be. As proposed by the administration, S. 1253 would provide for up to $1 billion in new direct spending over the next 10 years as a match to donations received by the Park Service. Although Interior Department officials have previously stated that the administration's budget proposal was offset, many of those revenue assumptions are not likely to be approved, and the bill itself is not offset, so we will need to address that issue. I understand that the Park Service hopes to finalize its initial list of signature projects and programs that would be funded by this bill sometime later this month. The question of how to determine which project should receive funding, and how to balance congressional and agency approval of these projects, is another key issue we will need to resolve. While I have concerns with some of the specific provisions in this bill, I support its overall goal and look forward to working with the Director and my colleagues on the committee to see if we can find a way to move it forward. Last week, the committee approved the Republican members' selection of Richard Burr as the new ranking member of the subcommittee. I'm so happy to know that, and look forward to working with him. Senator Burr will be here, and I thought I'd move forward here, and, when he comes, he will be able to present his statement. I want him to know that I'm looking forward to working with him and hope that we can continue the long bipartisan tradition of this subcommittee. So, at this time, I'd like to call on the chairman of the energy and interior committees, Mr. Bingaman--Senator Bingaman, for his statement. STATEMENT OF HON. JEFF BINGAMAN, U.S. SENATOR FROM NEW MEXICO The Chairman. Thank you very much, Senator Akaka, for having the hearing. I welcome the Director here. This is very important issue. I'm glad that you were able to schedule this hearing today, before Congress leaves for the August recess. I do think that this Centennial Challenge proposal has a lot of merit in concept. I very much like the proposal, and support what the Secretary and the Director are trying to do here, in obtaining significant long-term funding increases for our national parks, which is certainly something that's definitely needed. I think you and I have both been here long enough, Senator Akaka, to know that accomplishing this isn't always that easy. I remember the debates and problems we had in trying to pass the CARA bill, some time ago. I proposed in that a bill that included funding for various conservation programs. There was 150 million each year in there, and new direct spending authority for the national parks. We got the provision out of this committee, but we were not able to overcome objections on the Senate floor and proceed to pass it. Let me just mention two or three concerns that I do have. I'm not able to stay for your full hearing, but I just wanted to make a record of these concerns. Some of the specific authorities in the bill, and how they would be implemented, is one concern. I think the bill does leave a great deal of discretion to the administration in determining funding needs. I hope that we can be more specific about the criteria that is involved. The way I read it now, the standard is that they can fund any project or program the Director identifies as one that will preserve the national parks for another century of conservation, preservation, and enjoyment. That's pretty broad. I hope we can be more specific. Next concern would be that additional funding for the Centennial Challenge obviously can't come at the expense of the other ongoing needs of the Park Service, and that's something that I think you alluded to in your comments, as well. The final point that I would make--and I think this is something that maybe the Director will speak to--is we need to really be very sure that setting up this program that contemplates significant increases in private philanthropy does not open the door for increased pressure to have corporate sponsors of our various parks and park facilities. I think that's an issue that we've debated around here before. I remember when we had the debate a few years ago about advertising on the National Mall, and concerns there. I think the Senate voted, with a fairly large bipartisan vote, to prohibit that in the future, at least when it occurred in that instance. The donor recognition standards that the Park Service has adopted, I think that we need to be sure that those are not undermined. So, let me stop with that. Again, thank you for having the hearing. I'm sorry I'm not able to be here for the entire hearing, but appreciate the chance to make this statement. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Chairman Bingaman, for your statement. As I look here, I--it seems as though this is a hearing of the Bs. We've just heard from Bingaman, and we will hear from Burr, and, following the members, we'll hear from Bomar. But, before Bomar, we'll hear from Barrasso. [Laughter.] Senator Akaka. So, here we are---- The Chairman. Senator Salazar, that's the one exception. [Laughter.] Senator Burr. We weren't going to let him speak. [Laughter.] Senator Akaka. But I'm delighted to call, next, on our new ranking member, Senator Burr, and we're delighted to have him. Then, too, this is the first--I think I'm correct--first meeting that we're having with Director Bomar, too. So, here we are. Senator Burr. STATEMENT OF HON. RICHARD BURR, U.S. SENATOR FROM NORTH CAROLINA Senator Burr. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. More importantly, thank you for the very warm welcome. My apologies for my tardiness. I welcome the Director, as well. It's great to be a part of a Subcommittee that really treasures our national treasure, and that's our parks. The agenda for today's hearing includes only one bill, S. 1253, the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund Act. It's unusual for this subcommittee to devote an entire hearing to a single bill. I'm not sure that it's happened while I'm here. But it's most appropriate, in this instance, because the bill has the potential to improve visitor services and park operations in many ways, in many years to come. The years leading up to the centennial, in 2016, are a time to reflect on the past as we prepare for the future. When Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, on August 25, 1916, he created a new bureau with responsibility for 35 national parks and monuments. The mission of the new bureau was to conserve the scenery, the natural and historic objects and the wildlife, and leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. We have the same charge. In the ensuing years, the number of units has grown from 35 to 391. This increase has created a challenge to abide by the mandate to maintain parks unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. The Centennial Challenge Fund will help the National Park Service achieve that mandate of all 391 units. Senate bill 1253 outlines a new and creative way to fund Federal projects. The program will combine appropriated funds with matching private dollars, something I hope this Congress uses in other areas--as I have suggested, already, in education. This method of funding if successful, could be a model for other funding projects with special needs. However, we must also ensure that this legislation does not conflict with existing policies regarding donations and fundraising established in Director's Order 21. The witnesses here today can help us to find a way to avoid that potential conflict. In closing, Mr. Chairman, I believe it's important to remember that national parks are an American treasure that preserve and interpret the history of our Nation. Other countries have tried to emulate this program, but none have come close to achieving the quality and the diversity of America's national park system. The bill under consideration today will help the National Park Service maintain its status as a world leader in natural and cultural resources and stewardship. I want to thank the Chair. I know his commitment is strong to our national parks, as was his previous ranking member, who we all miss. I look forward to working with the Chairman, as well as the other Senators on this subcommittee, and Senators at large that have interest, to make sure that we find the appropriate way to move forward. I thank the Chair. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Senator Burr. To follow the early bird order here, I'm going to call on Senator Barrasso for your statement, and it'll be followed by Senator Salazar. STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN BARRASSO, U.S. SENATOR FROM WYOMING Senator Barrasso. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'm looking forward to serving on this subcommittee. The Secretary stopped by my office yesterday to drop off ``The Future of America's National Parks.'' You're shown there in the Easter Egg Roll at the White House. Looks like a great event. Looking through this, the pictures are beautiful, but the words tell a wonderful story. There's an incredible timeline here, Mr. Chairman, with 1872--Yellowstone is created when Congress sets aside 2.2 million acres of wilderness to be forever, quote, ``a public park or pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.'' Then, it's not for another 44 years that the National Park Service was created. So, the record can accurately reflect that Wyoming has been involved in this even before the Federal Government, and I look forward to working as a member of this committee and working with you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much. Senator Salazar. STATEMENT OF HON. KEN SALAZAR, U.S. SENATOR FROM COLORADO Senator Salazar. Thank you very much, Chairman Akaka. It's an honor and pleasure to sit on this subcommittee with you. Welcome, to Senator Burr, as the new ranking member. I very much look forward to working with him as we work together to protect the Nation's treasures under our park system. I want to also welcome you here for the first time, Director Bomar. Ms. Bomar. Thank you. Senator Salazar. I look forward to working with you on the parks issues, not only in Colorado, but all around the country. I also want to extend a special thank you to Curt Buchholtz, who hails from Colorado and is here with us today. Curt is a great champion of the parks in our State and he knows full well how important these parks are to Colorado and to our Nation. On several occasions, I have shared with Secretary Kempthorne and with Director Bomar my pleasure with the enthusiasm that they are showing for the National Park Centennial, in 2016. The Centennial Challenge, if done right, is a great opportunity to revitalize our parks and restore the Nation's fascination with these treasures over the American landscape. We have 12 National Park Service units in Colorado, of which we are very proud. My history in association with the creation of those parks is something that I will always treasure. Today, we will discuss S. 1253, the administration's proposal to match up to $100 million in private donations with Federal dollars. If combined--and I say ``if combined''--with a sustained increase in the annual operations and maintenance and education and construction accounts by the Federal Government, by this Congress and in the administration's budget, this concept has promise. We clearly have to resolve a number of issues, however, if this is to work. There is no offset in the administration's bill that--to tell us how we're going to pay for it, and it is not clear to me what the public's role, or Congress's role, is in guiding the selection of the signature projects. We need to consider what impacts this will have on other Park Service accounts, friends groups, and existing philanthropic initiatives that now support our national park system. These are not insurmountable barriers to overcome, and I look forward to working with you, Director Bomar, and---- Ms. Bomar. Thank you. Senator Salazar [continuing]. With Secretary Kempthorne, to see how we can overcome these barriers. I want to just briefly discuss a bill, that I will be introducing shortly, that will be part of our Centennial Challenge. It'll be a bill that will allow schools and local education agencies to partner with the Park Service to bring more rangers into classrooms and more kids into parks. The bill will create a grant program through which schools that partner with the Park Service can compete for up to $25,000 that can go toward curriculum development, teacher training, visits to parks, and other initiatives taken in conjunction with the Park Service. The bill will go through the HELP Committee, but because it pertains to the Centennial Challenge and our parks, I wanted to raise it in this hearing, and make sure that I brought it to your attention, Director Bomar. It is, in many ways, not dissimilar to a program I started in Colorado, now some 17 years ago, called the Youth and Natural Resources Program. It's a program where we ended up bringing thousands of young men and women into our parks and wildlife programs in the State of Colorado. I always saw that effort as achieving two very important goals. The first goal was to educate young people about some of the treasures that we had in parks and wildlife in my State of Colorado. The second, frankly, is these young people became a great part of our work force, helping us in the summer in all of our facilities in Colorado. I hope to be able to work with you on, not only this legislation that I'm proposing, but also in efforts that are similar to that. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to comment. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Senator Salazar. Our first witness this afternoon is the Honorable Mary Bomar, Director of the National Park Service. This is your first appearance, and we're happy to have you here at the committee. Director Bomar, we'll include your entire written statement in the record, so please feel free to summarize your testimony. Please proceed with your statement, then we'll have a round of questions. STATEMENT OF MARY BOMAR, DIRECTOR, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Ms. Bomar. All right. Thank you very much, Senator Akaka. Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the Department of Interior's views on S. 1253, a bill to establish a fund for the National Park Centennial Challenge. The Department strongly supports enactment of S. 1253, which is one of Secretary Kempthorne's top priorities. We are grateful to you, Mr. Chairman, and to Senator Bingaman, for sponsoring this legislation, and we look forward to continuing to work with you as S. 1253 moves through the legislative process. S. 1253, along with other components of the Centennial Initiative, offers the greatest prospect for re-engaging the American public with their national parks and rejuvenate their pride in ``the best idea America ever had''; increasing the capacity of the national park system through increased funding to meet the needs of the next century; and recruiting, retaining, training, and preparing the next generation of leaders for our parks. Secretary Kempthorne and I are excited about partnering with the American people on innovative projects and programs that will capture the imagination of the public and that will welcome and inspire the generations who will inherit the great national treasures under our stewardship. The Centennial Initiative would not only provide vital funding for the national parks, but would also provide more avenues for Americans to become involved in their national parks and the legacy they represent. National parks are special places that unite us all as Americans, and it is our shared responsibility to preserve them for generations yet to come. The Centennial Initiative is a true reflection of that sentiment. The Centennial Initiative proposes $3 billion in new funds for the National Park Service over the next 10 years. Of that amount, $1 billion is for the Centennial Commitment--100 million in additional annual appropriations for each of the next 10 years. Congress has already taken steps toward approval of that funding, for which we are grateful. The other $2 billion would come from what we call the Centennial Challenge: the challenge to individuals, foundations, and businesses to contribute at least $100 million annually to support signature projects and programs. Each year, $100 million in donations would be matched by $100 million of Federal funding for the National Park Service Centennial Challenge Fund, the mandatory spending fund that would be established under S. 1253. The President asked for a report on implementation of the Centennial Initiative by May 31, 2007. Secretary Kempthorne and I led the Department and the National Park Service to reach out to the American public and listen to their ideas for our national parks. With ideas from more than 40 listening sessions throughout the Nation, and from further discussion among park managers and staff, five overarching goals emerged. They are articulated in the Secretary's report, May 31, ``The Future of America's National Parks.'' Our efforts are now focused on two fronts. First, each park superintendent and program manager has been asked to complete an implementation strategy this summer that describes their vision and desired accomplishments for their individual areas to support the five overarching goals. Second, across the service, park employees and partners are working together to propose centennial projects and programs for 2008 and 2009. Secretary Kempthorne and I plan to report on the individual park plans and programs and centennial implementation strategies, and announce the centennial projects and programs approved for funding consideration for 2008 in late August, this month. The Centennial Challenge Fund would build on a long tradition of philanthropy in our national parks, from donations of land by the Rockefeller family to the coins given by schoolchildren to help restore the Statue of Liberty. In the outreach we conducted this past spring, we found broad public support for the idea of financing projects through a public/ private match, and we found the ``challenge'' approach to fundraising to be a familiar concept. The possibility of matching funds has excited our partners and enticed new donors, and we have every indication that we will readily raise more than $100 million a year necessary for the $100-million annual Federal match. Mr. Chairman, thank you, sir, for being so kind and having us here today. Again, we appreciate your leadership on this legislation. We stand ready to work with you to ensure that the legislation is approved by Congress in a timely way, to help ensure that our national parks--our national treasures--are in top condition when we begin our second century of stewardship, in 2016. Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions that you or members of the committee have. Thank you. [The prepared statement of Ms. Bomar follows:] Prepared Statement of Mary A. Bomar, Director, National Park Service, Department of the Interior, on S. 1253 Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today to present the Department of the Interior's views on S. 1253, a bill to establish a fund for the National Park Centennial Challenge, and for other purposes. The Department strongly supports enactment of S. 1253. As the committee is aware, this bill--an Administration legislative proposal-- is one of Secretary Kempthorne's top priorities. We are grateful to you, Mr. Chairman, and to Senator Bingaman for sponsoring this legislation, and we look forward to continuing to work with you as S. 1253 moves through the legislative process. Secretary Kempthorne and I are very excited about partnering with the American people on innovative projects and programs that will capture the imagination of the public and that will welcome and inspire the generations who will inherit the great national treasures under our stewardship. S. 1253, along with other components of the Centennial Initiative, offers the greatest prospects for fulfilling what I believe are the three most important goals for the National Park Service:
Re-engaging the support of the American people for the National Parks and rejuvenating their pride in ``the best idea America ever had,'' in the famous words of a British diplomat; Increasing the capacity of the National Park System, through increased funding, to meet the needs of a changing population; and Recruiting, retaining, training, and preparing a new generation of leadership for the National Park Service. The Centennial Initiative would not only provide vital funding for the national parks, but also provide more avenues for Americans to become involved in their national parks and the legacy they represent. National parks are special places that unite us all as Americans, and it is our shared responsibility to preserve them for generations yet to come. The Centennial Initiative is a true reflection of that sentiment. In preparing for the National Park Service's second century of stewardship, it is worth noting the growth and change that has occurred since the National Park Service was first established. In 1916, the Department of the Interior oversaw 14 national parks, 21 national monuments, and two land reservations--all of which had been set aside for conservation purposes during the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, these areas were not managed in a systematic way, nor was their preservation assured, until Congress passed the National Park Service Organic Act, which not only established a new agency responsible for these units, but also directed the National Park Service to ``conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.'' While the fundamental mission of the National Park Service has remained the same for 90 years, our responsibilities have grown in size and breadth. Several new parks and monuments were added in the 1920's, including parks in the East, and in 1933, a major governmental reorganization transferred responsibility for 44 historical areas to the National Park Service. Two Executive Orders in 1933 clarified that the National Park Service has a responsibility to care for historical as well as natural areas, making the National Park System truly national in scope. Two years later, Congress confirmed the National Park Service's role as the leading Federal agency in this field with passage of the 1935 Historic Sites Act that led to the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmark designations. The 1950's, 1960's, and 1970's saw the expansion of the National Park System to include national recreation areas, including those in large urban areas. Fifty-two historical areas were added between 1952 and 1972. During the 1950's, the National Park Service launched ``Mission 66,'' a ten-year effort to upgrade park facilities as the National Park Service approached its 50th anniversary in 1966. In 1980, the establishment of large expanses of land in Alaska as national park areas doubled the acreage under the management of the National Park Service. Along with continued growth, the conservation mission of the National Park Service was reaffirmed and strengthened in the 1970 General Authorities Act, which formally recognized all the lands administered by the National Park Service, regardless of their title, as part of one National Park System. During the 1980's and 1990's, Congress added more units, mostly historic sites, including many that reflect the diversity of our nation, such as Manzanar National Historic Site, where Japanese Americans were held during World War II and Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, commemorating the Supreme Court decision on school segregation. Many sites across the country expanded interpretive services to appeal to diverse demographic groups and some began providing bilingual exhibits and information. Parks were made more accessible to the disabled. National Park Service programs that assist or advise communities, such as Rivers and Trails and National Heritage Areas, added more responsibilities. Today, the responsibilities of the National Park Service include administering 391 park units along with multiple programs across a broad spectrum that help conserve our nation's natural, cultural, and historical resources. The Service has more than 22,000 employees and an FY 2007 budget of $2.3 billion. Since 2000, our emphasis has been on taking better care of the resources under our stewardship, which has included a major effort to reduce the backlog of deferred maintenance in our parks as well as to complete documentation and enhance management of natural resources under the umbrella of the Natural Resource Challenge. We have stressed developing partnerships to facilitate conservation, that includes the initiation of the Preserve America program. The boldest and most comprehensive initiative of this era, however, is the one that is the subject of today's hearing. The legislative proposal before you was developed following the Presidential directive that was announced on August 25, 2006, the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service. President Bush issued a memorandum directing Secretary Kempthorne to ``enhance our national parks during the decade leading up to the 2016 centennial celebration . . . [and] prepare them for another century of conservation, preservation and enjoyment.'' From that bold directive, the Department developed the multi-year Centennial Initiative, which was presented in February as part of the President's FY 2008 Budget. The Centennial Initiative proposes $3 billion in new funds for the National Park Service over the next ten years. Of that amount, $1 billion is the ``Centennial Commitment''--$100 million in additional annual appropriations for each of the next ten years. The other $2 billion would come from the ``Centennial Challenge''--the challenge to individuals, foundations, and businesses to contribute at least $100 million annually to support signature programs and projects. Each year, $100 million in donations would be matched by $100 million of Federal funding from the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund, the mandatory spending fund that would be established under S. 1253. We greatly appreciate the support Congress has already shown for the Centennial Commitment portion of the Initiative. Both the House- passed and the Senate committee-approved versions of the FY 2008 Interior appropriations bill contain the $100 million in additional operations funding identified in the President's Budget as Centennial Initiative funding. Including the centennial funding, total operations funding for FY 2008 would increase by $199 million under the House- passed version over the FY 2007 level, and by $196 million under the Senate committee-reported version. Enactment of operations funding in that range would mean that all parks would receive enough funding to cover fixed costs in FY 2008, and many would also receive more seasonal rangers, more maintenance funding, and more resource protection funding, all of which would better enable parks to provide visitors with safe, enjoyable, and educational experiences. The President asked for a report on implementation of his August 24, 2006 directive by May 31, 2007. To begin the process of determining signature programs and projects, Secretary Kempthorne led the Department and the National Park Service in an unprecedented effort to reach out to the American public to listen to their ideas for future goals for the national parks as we move toward the 100th anniversary. During March and April, after planning 12 listening sessions, we expanded to more than 40 sessions throughout the nation after the initial sessions generated such excitement among the American people as well as National Park Service staff. Some of them were led by the Secretary and me personally. We also took comments through our website and by mail; in total, we heard from more than 4,500 people. From these sessions, and from further discussion among park managers and staff, five overarching goals emerged. They are articulated in the Secretary's May 31 report, The Future of America's National Parks, as follows: Stewardship.--The National Park Service will lead America and the world in preserving and restoring treasured resources; Environmental Leadership.--The National Park Service will demonstrate environmental leadership to the nation; Recreational Experience.--National parks will be superior recreational destinations where visitors have fun, explore nature and history, find inspiration, and improve health and wellness; Education.--The National Park Service will foster exceptional learning opportunities that connect people to parks; and Professional Excellence.--The National Park Service will demonstrate management excellence worthy of the treasures entrusted to our care. The report established these goals not only as the foundation for decisions about specific projects and programs, but also to guide the work of the National Park Service as we work toward our centennial in 2016. The report also identified specific performance goals within each overarching goal, and gave examples of actions that would fulfill those goals. Our efforts at the present time are focused on two fronts: first, each park superintendent and program manager has been asked to complete an implementation strategy this summer that describes their vision and desired accomplishments for their individual areas to support the five overarching goals. Second, parks and their enthusiastic partners are working together to propose centennial projects and programs for 2008 and 2009. The projects and programs proposed for 2008 are being evaluated in terms of the criteria that were finalized in June. At the Secretary's request, the Inspector General is engaged in conducting critical point evaluations of how we intend to implement the Centennial Challenge. In particular, he has highlighted the issues of transparency in the project and program selection process and financial accountability. Secretary Kempthorne and I plan to report on the individual park and program centennial implementation strategies, and announce centennial projects and programs approved for funding consideration for 2008 at the end of August. The criteria adopted in June require that all proposed projects and programs: provide for authorized activities in existing units; contribute toward at least one of the five centennial goals; be consistent with our management policies and planning and compliance documents; require little or no additional National Park Service operating funds to be sustainable; and have partners willing to contribute at least 50 percent of the project cost in cash from non-Federal sources. Beyond those basic requirements, projects and programs are being evaluated by National Park Service interdisciplinary review teams. Projects approved for 2008 will be analyzed to ensure that the programs and projects represent a mix of different emphasis areas--the five centennial goals, different-sized parks, different-sized projects, multiple park projects, national initiatives, and a mix of projects and programs. We have been very clear in our quest for a diversity of centennial undertakings; this is by no means strictly about ``bricks and mortar'' construction projects. There will be opportunities to consider more bold and innovative projects and programs in future years, as parks and their partners rise to the challenge. Over time, the list will be updated to add new projects and programs and remove completed ones. We look forward to working with you to identify such projects and programs. S. 1253 would assure the funding that is needed to pay for projects and programs, once they have been selected. This legislation would establish a U.S. Treasury fund known as the National Park Centennial Challenge Fund. It would encourage private donations for signature projects and programs in national parks by matching those donations with Federal funds of up to $100 million from FY 2008 through FY 2017. The Fund would be available to the Secretary without further appropriation and with no fiscal year limitations. The increase in mandatory spending could be offset by other mandatory savings proposals within the President's Budget, although the Administration's proposal did not include specific offsets. Soliciting for Challenge Fund donations would be done primarily through the National Park Foundation and local friends' groups. The legislation specifies that National Park Service employees would be subject to current rules about soliciting and receiving donations. The Centennial Challenge Fund would build on a long tradition of philanthropy in our national parks--from donations of land by the Rockefeller family to the coins given by school children to help restore the Statue of Liberty. The challenge component was first developed in collaboration with philanthropic, non-profit and private groups. In the outreach we conducted this past spring, we found broad public support for the idea of financing projects through a public- private match, and we found the ``challenge'' approach to fundraising to be a familiar concept. The possibility of matching funds has excited our partners and enticed new donors, and we have every indication that we will readily raise more than $100 million a year necessary for a $100 million annual Federal match. As Secretary Kempthorne said in his report to the President, ``the golden years for the national parks have not passed, but are ahead.'' Mr. Chairman, we again thank you for your leadership on this legislation. We stand ready to work with you to ensure that this legislation is approved by Congress in a timely way, to help ensure that our national parks--our national treasures--are in top condition when we begin our second century of stewardship in 2016. Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the subcommittee may have. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Director Bomar. I'd like to begin with a general question---- Ms. Bomar. Yes, sir. Senator Akaka [continuing]. Before turning to some of the specific issues in your legislative proposal. In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge, or threat, facing the National Park Service right now? To what extent will your Centennial Initiative address this challenge? Ms. Bomar. I think--as you know, Senator Akaka, I come from the field--that one of the biggest challenges that we face today is operational funding, but we also have a great opportunity--we have 174 friends groups that work in great partnership with our national parks across America--and we feel, together, that, through a public/private partnership, as well as the additional operational funds, we have some wonderful opportunities. But we've heard the superintendents, loud and clear, the challenge is operational funding. Over decades, the funding has eroded. The 2008 President's budget would bring 3,000 seasonal employees into the national parks to give interpretive programs, to give better services. There would be 1,000 in maintenance, 1,000 in interpretation, and 1,000 in resource protection and law enforcement for the parks. We heard the park employees and the American public, loud and clear, on what they felt was needed to take us to the 21st century, as well as what avenues we should be looking at. It certainly is the operations of the National Park Service. Senator Akaka. As you've noted in your written statement, S. 1253 does not include any offset for the $1 billion in mandatory spending in the bill. I understand that the Department's budget did propose various offsets, although many of those are not likely to be enacted. Will the administration support enactment of this bill without an offset? Ms. Bomar. The President's budget, Senator Akaka, for FY 2008, does recommend some mandatory proposals. I would hope that wouldn't be a barrier for us, that we could work this through--I'd like to continue a dialog. I have a list of the mandatory proposals in the President's budget that I'd like to present to you today. But I would really like to continue to discuss this--I just feel shame on us if we can't work through this issue together. I'm sure we can, sir. Senator Akaka. Many of the national park units in my State are relatively small sites that are of great cultural and historical significance. While many of these sites have a very positive relationship with a local cooperating association, they don't all have the benefit of a large fundraising partner---- Ms. Bomar. That's right. Senator Akaka [continuing]. Like some of the larger national parks do. What steps are you going to take to ensure that a historical park, such as Kaloko-Honokohau or Pu'uhonua o Honaunau is able to compete for funding on an equal footing with a large national park, such as Grand Canyon or Yosemite or--that has an active fundraising group? Ms. Bomar. We say, with the Centennial Challenge, the beauty of it, Senator, is that there are no winners and losers. Everybody's a winner with this, including small and medium parks. One thing that we have put in place is to make sure that we have solid criteria for selection of the centennial projects. We have two review teams that are in, this week--one to review projects, one to review programs. They are some of the finest subject-matter experts working in the National Park Service. There is screen-out criteria and also evaluation criteria, so--to make sure that we address, what some might say, the have-nots--that provide for authorized activities within a national park contribute toward at least one of the five centennial overarching goals, as stated in the ``Future'' document that you've seen; be consistent with all Federal department regulations; but also that--we want to make sure that large, small, and medium parks are considered, and that, through many of our partnerships and friends, the National Park Foundation, we will identify, through--going through the project submittal process, whether they have a partner or not. We have a book in front of me today that has over $300 million--it's actually $301 million worth of funding in partnership letters that have come in from all over the States; 317 letters offering a commitment for funding. Many of those reach across a wide spectrum of parks--large, medium, and small. For parks that don't have partners, their projects have been put into a separate pool. That will be a pool that will not, probably, fit into 2008-2009, but we look to the National Park Foundation, and many other partners, to help fund the smaller parks. The beauty of the matching funds is that any donations that are taken in at the national parks--they can have a donation box, which many of them do--where they have a project, a centennial project, described on that donation box would be eligible for funding under this program. We are trying to make sure that we have a fair and balanced across-the-board spectrum of projects selected for the centennial, sir. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much. I'd like to now call on Senator Burr for his questions. Senator Burr. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Again, welcome, Director. Ms. Bomar. Thank you. Senator Burr. Two billion in discretionary money is a huge amount of money in one pot. I think I can use your answer to the Chairman's question on challenges to envision that those are your priorities. Let me ask you, do you intend to use this fund for land acquisition? Ms. Bomar. There will be a separate pool for land acquisition. No, again, coming back to what the superintendents told us that their greatest need was, it was for operations of the national parks. It'll be for projects and programs within the national parks. Down the road, there could be some land acquisition involved; for example Flight 93 is a priority right now to the Department, sir. But, at the moment, we are focusing on the operations of the National Park Service. Some land within boundary from willing sellers, there could be some of that. Senator Burr. How will projects that are funded under the Centennial Challenge be selected? Who's going to be involved in that selection process? Ms. Bomar. This started with the 40 listening sessions and the 5 overarching goals that were developed--the recommendations that we heard at the 40 listening sessions, from the America public. All those ideas have been assessed by the parks, and most of them really fit within the mission of the National Park Service, and how the parks can be kept vibrant for the next 100 years. All those projects were put, through the parks, into a database. They are now going through our review process. They will be selected by the National Park Service, and will be brought to Congress for review. That also will be an opportunity for dialog, sir. Senator Burr. The National Park Foundation is chartered by Congress. Ms. Bomar. Yes, sir. Senator Burr. What do you see the role of the National Park Foundation being in implementing the Centennial Challenge? Ms. Bomar. They are a vital partner of ours. They are the only legally, as we've said, congressionally mandated arm for fundraising for the National Park Service. Vin Cipolla is here today, and you'll hear from him later, I think. He has been building the capacity of the National Park Foundation for the last 2 years. He has a great staff in place. But their role is to also step up--which Vin will talk about, today, to you--and help fundraise for many parks, many programs, such as the Junior Ranger Program and other educational programs, in many areas. Senator Burr. You've alluded to it. Many national parks have friends groups that raise money---- Ms. Bomar. Yes, sir. Senator Burr [continuing]. For special projects, organize volunteers--truly there to assist the park, I think. Ms. Bomar. Yes. Senator Burr. They're accustomed to working side by side with park staff, in some cases, on projects funded by private donations. What do you see their role being as it relates to selecting and implementing projects that may be funded under the Centennial Challenge? Ms. Bomar. They will be involved as donors. I think the beauty of this program is that this is the first time, in such a concentrated effort, that we've had these listening sessions and that we've gone out to our parks and said, What are our opportunities? When we see the implementation strategy plans that come back from the parks--there are 391 units that are preparing their vision--there might be things out there we have not thought of, where the National Park Foundation could match up donations to those needs, such as more efficient light bulbs under the energy and environmental leadership goal. There could be a donor that they could match to that particular need. So, I think that they are going to see many opportunities that we haven't thought about, with donors. The American public love their national parks and really want to be involved in their stewardship. I'm a huge fan--we all are--of working with partners. But, also, I think there are partners there that want to give to the National Park Service. When you read through some of these letters that have come in from American individuals, from the public, not just from companies, corporations, government, and States, you see that they want to give something back to their parks. So, I think, Senator Burr, there are going to be many opportunities that we haven't thought about, so we will work very closely, hand in hand, as we have been doing, with the Park Foundation, and we'll see what projects they can fund for us. They are actually putting a funding plan together, as well--that's my understanding. Senator Burr. As I said in my opening statement, I'm very supportive of this initiative of public/private---- Ms. Bomar. Thank you. Senator Burr [continuing]. Partnerships. It strikes me--and the reason I take you through all of the different components of people who have interest---- Ms. Bomar. Yes. Senator Burr [continuing]. In the park--and some of it's sweat equity, some of it's financial interest, some of it is a passion to raise money---- Ms. Bomar. Yes. Senator Burr [continuing]. At some point, everybody's not going to be happy with what the choices were. Their priority might get left out. Senator Bingaman raised the issue that Congress may not be happy, because it may not be congressional priorities, necessarily, that get addressed. I just want to stress with you that, with this, comes a tremendous amount of accountability. Ms. Bomar. Yes, sir. Senator Burr. Though I think the effort is designed in a very positive win-win way--I think you described it--if that level of communication with stakeholders is not maintained, if, at any point, that pipe contracts, what is portrayed as a win- win can turn into a fairly messy thing to deal with, as stakeholders that are there for the right reasons find reasons not to be stakeholders. Ms. Bomar. Right. Senator Burr. Let me ask one additional question, if I could. The Proud Partners Program is discussed in Director's Order 21. Ms. Bomar. Yes, sir. Senator Burr. Ford Motor Company is a Proud Partner. That gives them the right to market that role. If Toyota makes a donation to the Centennial Challenge Fund, does that put you in a difficult situation, based upon what you've agreed to in the Proud Partners Program and Ford's position in that? Ms. Bomar. We have accepted donations for some of our parks from Toyota. Vin Cipolla and others in the National Park Foundation are absolutely at the table with us when we do that. There is no endorsement from us on that. Vin could probably speak much more intelligently than I can, sir, to you on the Proud Partner Program, which he probably will---- Senator Burr. I think you understand where I'm going. Ms. Bomar. Yes. Senator Burr. Are we locked into something that potentially locks folks out in the future, even though we're starting a new program that I think is extremely beneficial? Will we have the same tools to work with, or will we create a---- Ms. Bomar. Yes. Senator Burr [continuing]. A potential conflict that might be difficult for everybody involved? Ms. Bomar. Right. I think, speaking in plain English to you, Senator, that the Proud Partner Program has been around for many years, and, yes, often exclusivity is an issue. Vin Cipolla and his staff have certainly recognized that and are working through that. We're glad to have the Proud Partner Program, but it is a new concept for us to come forward and ask for mandatory funding. But I'm very pleased to say that, working with the National Park Foundation under Vin Cipolla's leadership, we have a great partner that is willing to work with us and is very much onboard with the Centennial--very enthusiastic about the Centennial Initiative. Senator Burr. I thank you. I---- Ms. Bomar. Thank you, sir. Senator Burr [continuing]. Yield, Mr. Chairman. Senator Akaka. Thank you, Senator Burr. Senator Barrasso. Senator Barrasso. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Following up on both the Chairman's comments and the ranking member I look at the issues of deferred maintenance, and I'm concerned with just deferred maintenance in the parks, in general. I see that in Grand Teton, in Yellowstone, and in other parks that I've visited. I've heard different figures as to how much really needs to be done in our parks across the whole system, and it's a number that I've heard, you know, well in excess of $100 million a year. I know it's not been fully inventoried. I don't know if you have some kind of a grasp on what you think that number is. I'm just trying to put all this into perspective. Ms. Bomar. Yes. You will often hear, for deferred maintenance, that it could be as high as $8 billion. However, we have just finalized comprehensive inventories of our parks for maintenance, and that figure would be to bring everything into perfect condition in our 391 units of the National Park System. Probably $1 billion of that is for critical infrastructure, such as sewerage. I applaud Congress and the President for staying focused on maintenance, including through using fee funding to improve our facility condition index. I think the President's mandate was $4.9 billion. We are now past $6 billion in spending on backlog maintenance--deferred maintenance. We'll continue to move forward in that program, sir. Senator Barrasso. That was my question. Based on this program, are we looking at all new programs, or is some to help with some deferred maintenance, as well, and how you view that distribution, if I could, please. Ms. Bomar. Yes. Coming back to the partnerships, and coming back to these letters of commitment--I will use the Ben Franklin Museum in Philadelphia as an example. My staff have heard me say it many times; it's a very easy project to get your hands around. There is an underground museum that is an $18-million project for renovation. On a daily basis, there are work orders for that museum. It hasn't been renovated since 1976. That is one of the projects. Pew Foundation, Penn Foundation, Gerry Lenfest, and the Governor of Pennsylvania, have come in and said, ``We'll put $12 million up. You know, when is the Federal Government going to stand up, Mary, and put their Federal match against that?'' That would absolutely reduce the facility condition index by taking that off the deferred maintenance list. That, maybe, wouldn't rise right to the top of a regional priority list, but it is certainly within our maintenance backlog. So, absolutely--many of these projects will reduce, and eliminate, in some cases, deferred maintenance. Senator Barrasso. Mr. Chairman, that leads to my final question, which--as you said, the Ben Franklin Museum and the 12 million Governor Rendell or others have said---- Ms. Bomar. Two-to-one--two-to-one match, sir. Senator Barrasso [continuing]. When do you do the match? So, would the local fundraising that a community can do around a favored national park then put somebody else higher up on the line for that match, or is it--I'm trying to see how this match works, if you're just trying to collect all money, and it doesn't get into different boxes, well, this much is for Yellowstone, and this much for Teton, and you come in---- Ms. Bomar. No. Because it will go through the screen- out and evaluation process as we review all those projects that come in to us. There are projects that we'll be looking at for 2008, 2009, and then for future outyears. I have 17 years in the Park Service, Senator, and I've watched and worked with many partners through my whole tenure. I went through one of the largest urban redevelopments in Philadelphia when I was there, a $360-million project, and partners were glad to step in and help us in new construction and renovations. I really feel that's very true. It's happening here with us now in Washington, DC. It's that same mentality. We have some tremendous opportunities through the Centennial Challenge, as noted by our telephone ringing off the line and the fax going crazy. Senator Barrasso. Perhaps I didn't ask it right. Then, is there an assurance to that partner that the Federal Government will help them, or do they say, ``Well, put all this money up, and then we'll see where you shake out on this list'' as the-- -- Ms. Bomar. That's right. They're going to have to compete. They will have to compete for that project. There will be no assurances until the project selection is done. Senator Barrasso. Mr. Chairman--and then, the competition will be based on the need of the project, not how much money that foundation---- Ms. Bomar. No, sir---- Senator Barrasso [continuing]. That's spending its---- Ms. Bomar [continuing]. Absolutely not. Thank you, Senator. No, it's not going to be based on the big highrollers that are going to come in with funding. Are partners going to control and commercialize our parks? Absolutely not. That's why the criteria is very strict, and the process that we're going through is very careful. One of the things that Secretary Kempthorne had recommended was to bring the IG, the Inspector General, in up front instead of waiting for problems, maybe, later on. I don't want to be embarrassed. I don't want the National Park Service to be embarrassed, or the Department. I want to make sure that we're transparent, that we're credible in our selection process. The IG will sit with us along the way as we move through this process, and, at critical evaluation points, will come back and brief us, Senator. So, I think, when you look through the evaluation criteria and the way that the process in place is right now, and the review teams we have, I feel very comfortable with where we're at. Senator Barrasso. Thank you, Ms. Bomar. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Senator Barrasso. I, finally, have two questions, Director. Ms. Bomar. Yes. Senator Akaka. I have worked with the National Park Service for many years to increase the diversity of American history that is presented to park visitors. One of the House companion bills has proposed funding education opportunities specifically, and I'm quoting, ``for persons under 18 years of age, particularly those from populations historically underrepresented among visitors to units of the national park system,'' unquote. What do you think about incorporating this requirement into the legislation? Ms. Bomar. Sir, the comments that came back to us through the listening sessions absolutely addressed just what you've talked about, about education and about diversity. It's not just about the diversity of our work force, which is addressed in professional excellence as one of our specific performance goals, but also in our visitors, that we are relevant and welcoming to our different cultures. The process we went through has been a great exercise for us in the National Park Service. Many of us were operating and still telling the stories the same way we did 20 years ago. We looked at a case for change--changing demographics, migration, high technology, today. All those things have said we must be relevant. Many of our parks today, sir, have programs presented to the visitors in 16 languages. New visitor centers coming onboard--many have 10 to 15 languages now available to the visiting public. But, also, our staff should be diverse. One of the goals that we have set--and the Secretary has said this many times-- is that we want the National Park Service to be one of the top ten places in America to work, and that a second goal is to meet 100 percent of diversity recruitment goals by employing people who reflect the face of America. Our prior directors have said the same. There will be, in looking at the FY-2008 budget, the centennial commitment of $100 million, part of which will be used to bring in 3,000 seasonal employees. We want to make sure that it's not business as usual, that it is used to get out and bring in the face of America. This is the first time that we've really had the opportunity to go out with a large recruitment effort and make a change. Senator Akaka. Many scientists recommend that we begin to implement strategies to increase the resistance and resilience of fish, wildlife, and plants to global warming. Some of these invaluable resources are located within park boundaries. Ms. Bomar. Yes. Senator Akaka. Do you envision addressing global warming in your initiative, particularly with respect to parks that may contain highly vulnerable fish and wildlife population? Ms. Bomar. Yes, sir. The Secretary has appointed a task force that will address three specific climate change goals. He has made this a very high priority. For years, we have a great gentleman working with us, Mike Soukup, who heads up our science division, and he has certainly been a leader in many of the natural resource areas--air quality issues, water issues, flora, fauna, and species. One of the projects that's identified in the Centennial Challenge is what we call a ``BioBlitz.'' There will be seven national parks that will be participating. Over the next few years, they will do a BioBlitz--for 24 hours, bring in students and children and families into parks to do inventories of flora, fauna, and species. When it comes to global climate change, the Secretary has made that a very high priority, and has pulled subject- matter experts together to really look at the sciences involved and address are three areas. There is land and water, there's science--and what is the third one? Policy and law. How could I forget that one? Policy and law, sir. Senator Akaka. Thank you. Thank you very much for your responses, Director. Ms. Bomar. Thank you. Senator Akaka. Are there any questions--further questions? I want to thank you so much for your responses, Director. You can tell that we are trying to understand---- Ms. Bomar. I know, sir. Senator Akaka [continuing]. This, and will continue to work on it. I understand, Director Bomar, that you've agreed to sit with the next panel so that we can have a discussion with you and with the panel members on this proposal. Ms. Bomar. Yes. Senator Akaka [continuing]. I want to thank you so much for accommodating us. Ms. Bomar. No, au contraire. Thank you very much, Senator Akaka. I appreciate your time. Thank you. Senator Akaka. Thank you. So, I'd like to call up the next panel, at this time: Vin Cipolla, the president and chief executive officer of the National Park Foundation; Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association; and Curt Buchholtz, the president of the National Park Friends Alliance, from Estes Park, Colorado. I'd like to welcome all of you to the subcommittee. We will include your full written statements in the hearing record, so we'd ask that you please limit your remarks to no more than 5 minutes. Following your statements, we will have a round of questions for you, and for the Director. Mr. Cipolla, will you please begin with your statement? STATEMENT OF VIN CIPOLLA, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION Mr. Cipolla. I thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee for the opportunity to appear before you today. We commend the sponsors in this committee for their commitment to preparing our national parks for the challenges and opportunities of the next century. My name is Vin Cipolla, and I am the president and CEO of the National Park Foundation. The National Park Foundation is the national charitable arm of the National Park Service, chartered by Congress in 1967, to encourage private philanthropic support for America's national parks. Involvement by a diverse charitable community deepens connections to an understanding of both the history of the parks and how much they mean for our future. Since February, when the President focused the attention of the Nation on the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, there has been a lot of thoughtful dialog on how to ensure the future of our national parks. As the national charitable partner for the parks, we think it is key to continue the rich tradition in which the parks were founded and have been sustained, public and private interests working in tandem. The proposed bill recognizes the importance of this complementary approach. The National Park Centennial Challenge Fund Act, 1253, seeks to raise up to $100 million each year over a 10-year period from private donations, and to match those donations with Federal funding up to $100 million annually. This proposal continues the long history of private philanthropy that has created our unequaled system of national parks. More than 100 years ago, people from across this country gathered to protect the places they loved and the places they knew would matter long into the future. It is their spirit and ideals on which the national park system was founded. In fact, 30 parks were directly created through donations. The future of philanthropic support is in both diversifying the opportunity to experience national parks and in diversifying the opportunity to support our parks. The National Park Foundation and friends groups, cooperating associations, and others continue this legacy of public/private partnership. Together, we are reinvigorating a movement for park philanthropy to benefit all parks. In the United States, charitable giving in 2005 exceeded $260 billion, of which approximately 90 billion went to causes related to the National Park Service mission: education, health, arts, culture, and humanities, and the environment. The national parks received only a small portion of these gifts. We can do better. We see great opportunities to make the national parks an important and prominent place for individual charitable giving. In the last fiscal year, we've been able to increase our number of individual donors by 40 percent. Also throughout its history, the National Park Foundation has worked with many significant corporate partners. Their support has enabled the National Park Service to enhance and expand important programs in such areas as education, preservation, community engagement, health, wellness, and volunteerism. Unilever, the longest-standing corporate partner of the National Park Foundation, has been working with us for nearly 15 years, and, through one of the many programs they fund, has provided nearly 200 of our parks with 11,000 miles of recycled lumber. This product has been used for the decking around Old Faithful, the drydock for the USS Constitution, and miles of trails and boardwalks. For the last 8 years, Ford Motor Company has helped place Ph.D. students in parks across the system to help fund--park managers understand and find solutions to challenging transportation issues. American Airlines has helped us fund critical programs in global conservation initiatives dealing with migratory birds. Having worked with the parks for such a long time and in such significant ways, I can assure you that both the Foundation and its partners understand and share the concern that corporate support for parks not become confused with, and not lead to, commercialization. We will work carefully with Director's Order 21 to ensure that corporate involvement adheres to this guideline. Today's rich media environment creates multiple opportunities for donors and parks to work together in new and creative ways that do not lead to the commercialization of parks, such as the way we can use the Web to express the partnership and encourage engagement. Charitable involvement of the American people has helped preserve and protect our parks, as well as connect children to our parks, something then Federal Government can't do alone. The National Park Foundation continues to expand and support our own programs surrounding this initiative. We have seen support for the Junior Rangers and WebRangers Programs increase over the last 2 years, and we continue to expand and increase our electronic field trips, where we connected 37 million children in a simultaneous visit to our parks during the last National Park Week. The state of our parks at the centennial celebration in 2016 will say a lot about our priorities as a Nation. I applaud efforts to increase base funding for the National Park Service so it can carry out its mission more fully. Opportunities for philanthropy must be central to any centennial legislation, and we confident this can be accomplished in a manner that allows our partners at the local level to be successful, and for programs at the national level to extend the benefits of philanthropy to all parks. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your ongoing support of national parks and for allowing me the opportunity to speak about the important role philanthropy plays in supporting the noble mission of the National Park Service. [The prepared statement of Mr. Cipolla follows:] Prepared Statement of Vin Cipolla, President and CEO, National Park Foundation, on S. 1253 Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. We commend the sponsors and this committee for their commitment to preparing our national parks for the challenges and opportunities of the next century. My name is Vin Cipolla and I am the President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. The National Park Foundation is the national charitable arm of the National Park Service, chartered by Congress in 1967 to encourage private philanthropic support for America's national parks. Involvement by a diverse charitable community deepens connections to an understanding of both the history of the parks and how much they mean for our future. Since February, when the President focused the attention of the nation on the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, there has been a lot of thoughtful dialogue on how to ensure the future of our national parks. As the national charitable partner for the parks, we think it is key to continue the rich tradition in which the parks were founded and have been sustained--public and private interests working in tandem. The proposed bill recognizes the importance of this complementary approach. The National Park Centennial Challenge Fund Act (S. 1253) seeks to raise up to $100 million each year over a ten year period from private donations and to match those donations with federal funding up to $100 million annually. This proposal continues the long history of private philanthropy that has created our unequalled system of national parks. More than one hundred years ago, people from across this country gathered to protect the places they loved and the places they knew would matter long into the future. It is their spirit and ideals on which the National Park System was founded. Together, they had the vision to transform the natural treasures of our country into the first national parks so future generations could enjoy these magnificent places and learn about our nation's proud history. Thirty parks were directly created through donations. Private philanthropy has traditionally been held in the hands of a few individuals whose commitment is strong, consistent, and valuable. We view the future success of private support not only in the capable hands of Congress and the National Park Service, but also in the hands of the 80 million plus national park visitors and enthusiasts. The future of philanthropic support is in both diversifying the opportunity to experience national parks, and in diversifying the opportunity to support our parks. The National Park Foundation and friends groups, cooperating associations and others, continue this legacy of public private partnership. Together, we are reinvigorating a movement for park philanthropy to benefit all parks. This new century presents wonderful opportunities for our national parks, but also serious challenges. The parks exist in increasingly complex environments with varied and often competing demands placed upon them: the U.S. population is growing older and more diverse, children are spending less time outdoors, and technology is bringing rapid changes. The National Park Service and we as a nation are challenged to respond. We believe the American people, like the generations before, are ready to embrace this challenge and provide the innovation, creativity, and charitable support necessary to protect these places for the next 100 years and beyond. In the United States, charitable giving in 2005 exceeded $260 billion. Of which, approximately $90 billion went to causes related to the National Park Service mission--education; health; arts; culture and humanities; and the environment. The National Parks received only a small portion of these gifts. We can do better. Our preliminary conversations with major donors and philanthropic organizations surrounding the Centennial have been very promising. We see great opportunities to make the national parks an important and prominent place for individual charitable giving. In the last fiscal year, we've been able to increase our number of individual donors by 40%. We believe these gifts pay dividends in deepening not just the financial, but also the emotional commitment that Americans have to their parks. Throughout its history, The National Park Foundation has worked with many significant corporate partners. Their support has enabled the National Park Service to enhance and expand important programs in such areas as education, preservation, community engagement, health and wellness, and volunteerism. Unilever, the longest-standing corporate partner of the National Park Foundation, has been working with us for nearly 15 years and through one of the many programs they fund has provided nearly 200 of our parks with 1,100 miles of recycled lumber. For the last eight years, Ford Motor Company has helped place PhD students in parks across the system to help park managers understand and find solutions to challenging transportation issues. American Airlines has helped us fund critical programs and global conservation initiatives dealing with migratory birds. Coca Cola North America recently pledged several millions of dollars to help parks across the system restore hiking trails for visitors. Having worked with the parks for such a long time and in such significant ways, I can assure you that both the Foundation and its partners understand and share the concern that corporate support for parks not become confused with and not lead to commercialization. We will work carefully within Director's Order #21 to ensure that corporate involvement adheres to this guideline. Over the last number of years, we have looked at this issue far too conventionally. Today's media environment creates multiple opportunities for donors and parks to work together in new and creative ways that do not lead to the commercialism of parks. This renewed interest in encouraging park philanthropy and partnerships creates many opportunities. First is the opportunity to connect and strengthen the fabric of support for parks on a national and local level. Our parks offer the best investments in the areas of youth-enrichment, education, health, and volunteerism, yet philanthropic potential on a grand scale and in line with contemporary thresholds has not been realized. Federal funding offers incentives for charitable partners to work collaboratively and creatively to develop fundraising campaigns that affect the entire park system. The National Park Foundation is prepared to take the necessary national leadership role to make this a reality and is currently working with an outside firm to examine the feasibility for creating a national philanthropic campaign to support national parks for the next century. Second is the opportunity to expand the dialogue around park partnerships. A richer conversation about parks will lead to incorporating best practices and innovation, especially at the state and local levels, which allow us to bring new ideas and models to national parks. Third is the opportunity to support the National Park Service as it works to enhance important youth and diversity programs system-wide. The approaching Centennial encourages us to build relationships that crosscut the full spectrum of American society. By working together to address under-reached audiences in ways that create meaningful park experiences, we ensure that all Americans feel connected to our shared heritage and accept their responsibility as future stewards of the national parks. While the charitable involvement of the American people has helped preserve and protect our parks, a lot of charitable activity today helps connect children to our parks--something the federal government can't do alone. The National Park Foundation continues to expand and support our own programs surrounding this initiative. We have seen support for the Junior Ranger and WebRangers programs at about $2.5 million over the last two years and continue to expand and increase our Electronic Field Trips, connecting 37 million children in a simultaneous visit to our parks during the last national park week. We will continue to work to improve the relationship of children to their national parks, and plan to work with private charitable organizations promoting these programs. Additionally, the African American Experience Fund is working to connect people with national parks that present African American history and culture. We at the National Park Foundation look forward to this century of giving. We will be convening the first National Leadership Summit on Philanthropy and Parks at the University of Texas in Austin on October 14-16 to bring together leaders from across our nation to shape strategies, which will ensure that our national parks remain the world's premier centers of learning, science, recreation, preservation, and partnership. The state of our parks at the Centennial Celebration in 2016 will say a lot about our priorities as a nation. I applaud efforts to increase base funding for the National Park Service so it can carry out its mission more fully. Opportunities for philanthropy must be central to any Centennial legislation and we are confident this can be accomplished in a manner that allows our partners at the local level to be successful and for programs at the national level to extend the benefits of philanthropy to all parks. Philanthropy is critical to not only leveraging the federal investment, but to creating new opportunities for more of the public to relate to their parks and to generate the creativity and innovation the National Park Service will need in the coming century. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your ongoing support of national parks and for allowing me the opportunity to speak about the important role philanthropy plays in supporting the noble mission of the National Park Service and in connecting all Americans to these very special places. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Mr. Cipolla. Now we will hear from Mr. Kiernan. STATEMENT OF TOM KIERNAN, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION Mr. Kiernan. Mr. Chairman, Senator Burr, Senator Barrasso, I'm Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association. I'm very pleased to be here this afternoon representing our over 330,000 members nationwide who care very deeply, as you all do, about our beloved national parks. Let me say, at the outset, it's a pleasure to have the Senator from North Carolina in your new ranking role, sir. It's wonderful to have your experience and the perspective from your region. We look forward to working closely with you and with the new Senator, Senator Barrasso, from Wyoming. We look very much forward to working with you. Let me also thank the Chairman and Senator Burr for holding this hearing in this very busy time before your August recess. It definitely goes to show that you share our collective goal of making national parks a national priority as we approach their centennial in 2016. NPCA strongly supports the concept of creating a special dedicated fund, over and above amounts provided through the appropriations process, to carry out selected priority projects and programs to enhance the park system, with philanthropic partners, during the years leading up to the centennial. To be successful, this initiative needs to, in our view, first, be viewed as part of a larger comprehensive solution to restore the parks by their 2016 centennial; second, it needs to effectively encourage appropriate increases in philanthropy; and, third, it needs to be integrated into, and support, a vision for the national park system as a whole. Elaborating on these three points, chronic funding shortfalls continue to be the most pervasive threat to our national parks. Our analysis over the last decade or so has shown that the parks suffer from a annual funding shortfall of approximately $800 million each year that is causing, as a result, many park managers to have to reduce their work forces, limit visitor center hours, perhaps even close some visitor centers, reduce the number of programs, and even reduce some of the ranger-led tours. Given this significant $800-million annual funding shortfall for the parks, I want to emphasize that the 100 million, or 200 million with the philanthropic portion, of this centennial fund idea must be thought of as only a part--a very important part, but only a part--of a concerted, comprehensive, multiyear effort to restore and adequately fund the Nation's parks. Mr. Chairman, I know that you're interested in seeing these funding problems remedied, and want to know what the long-term vision of the national park system should be with all of these additional funds. To help in that consideration, along with, I know, the Secretary's document, other documents, I'd like to submit for the record this document that NPCA put together, ``Five Ways Americans Can Help Fix Our National Parks,'' that also includes some visionary thoughts on what the park system should look like when fully funded. Senator Akaka. It will be included in the record. Mr. Kiernan. Thank you, sir. Toward this end, we are also very pleased with the FY- 08 Interior appropriations process that has cleared the House and has cleared the Senate committee, that would lead to roughly $200 million of additional annual operating support, reducing that funding shortfall from roughly 800 million to roughly 600 million. I know that, Mr. Chairman, in this committee you all have worked to encourage increased funding for the parks, and I thank you for that. Let me also just mention that these proposed funding increases have been catalyzed by the thinking and leadership of Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne, who shares this vision. It's also been a personal pleasure to work with such an experienced and competent director of the National Park Service as Mary Bomar. So, I want to publicly thank the administration for their leadership on this initiative. I would like to now specifically, for a moment, talk about philanthropy. From its inception, the national park system has benefited greatly from the generosity of the American people, who have contributed millions of dollars to help ensure its excellence. We see increasing appropriate philanthropy as an integral and positive part of the initiative. But to effectively encourage appropriate increases in philanthropy, I'd like to make three specific recommendations about the bill that you're considering, Senate 1253. First, the administration's bill proposes to create a required match program whereby Federal funds would be matched, dollar for dollar, with non-Federal sources, the cash they contribute. We believe counting only cash contributions paid into the Treasury, as stipulated in this bill, is too limiting. By far, the largest share of the private contributions to the park system are in the form of in-kind materials and services. We believe these in-kind contributions and materials and services, and the related project management capabilities of the larger friends groups, should be included in the match process, as well. Second, some accommodation should be made for those parks that have very small or nonexistent friends groups. They should be a part of this program. This morning, I had the good fortune to testify on the House side in regards to the House bill 3094 that you, I believe, briefly quoted. I do want to mention that that bill does not include a formal match requirement, but makes the philanthropic component more flexible. Therefore, it obviates the problems I just mentioned, and we would encourage the Senate to seriously consider that bill. Again, Mr. Chairman, thank you very much for holding this hearing, and we look forward to working with you and the committee. [The prepared statement of Mr. Kiernan follows:] Prepared Statement of Thomas C. Kiernan, President, National Parks Conservation Association, on S. 1253 Mr. Chairman, and members of the subcommittee, I am Tom Kiernan, president of the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA). Since 1919, NPCA has been the leading independent voice of the American people for protecting and enhancing our National Park System for present and future generations. I am pleased to be here today on behalf of our more than 330,000 members nationwide who visit and care deeply about America's national parks. I particularly appreciate that the subcommittee has chosen to hold this important hearing on the proposed national parks centennial legislation in this time frame with the press of so much other important business before the Congress. Taking this step in the legislative process now clearly demonstrates that you share our goal of making national parks a national priority as the centennial of the founding of the National Park Service and the unique and magnificent park system the Park Service was created to manage and conserve approaches in 2016. Time is certainly of the essence in launching an ambitious, viable program to help repair and enhance the park system in order for it to begin its second century in the best condition possible, prepared for the challenges of the future. It is a task that requires the Congress, the Administration, philanthropic groups, conservationists, communities, and individual park advocates working together for a common purpose--to harness American pride, patriotism and vision to protect this precious national legacy. Holding this hearing before the impending recess sends an important message to that effect. NPCA strongly supports the effort to create a special, dedicated fund over and above amounts provided in the regular appropriations process to address priority programmatic and project initiatives to enhance the park system during the years leading up to the centennial. We see this concept not only as an important source of money to pay for important and worthy programs and projects for the parks, but as a way to engage the American people in keeping their own heritage alive. Let me emphasize at the outset, though, that this proposal alone will not solve the problems and address all the long and short term needs of the parks which have resulted from decades of funding shortfalls during many administrations and Congresses. It must be thought of as one part of a concerted, comprehensive, multi-faceted, multi-year effort to restore and adequately fund the nation's parks. Substantial increases in park funding, particularly for operations in addition to this bill, sustained over many years will be needed to make the parks whole. Chronic funding shortfalls continue to be the most pervasive threat to the national parks. Our analysis shows that the shortage of funding for park operations has grown to more than $800 million every year. The backlog of maintenance and preservation needs exceeds $7.8 billion, and the Park Service has a backlog of $1.9 billion in acquiring inholdings within park boundaries. Many park managers have been forced to reduce their work forces, lower the number of public education programs they are able to offer, shorten visitor center hours or shutter visitor centers altogether, and deny requests from school groups for ranger-led tours. In parks across the country, interpretive displays and signage are outdated, brochures are in short supply or non-existent and interpretive rangers are missing. In many parks, nationally significant lands are subject to development threats. Under these constraints, park managers struggle to engage and inspire visitors, and protect natural and cultural resources. Mr. Chairman, I know of your strong interest in seeing these problems remedied and in knowing what the long-term vision for the National Park System should be. In order to help address these issues, I have brought a copy of NPCA's report,* ``5 Ways America Can Fix Our National Parks'', which lays out our vision of what needs to be done for the park system to have a bright and successful future. With your permission, I would like to submit this document as a part of the record. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- * Report has been retained in subcommittee files. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- A commitment for sustained funding increases is absolutely necessary to make progress toward eliminating the annual $800 million operating budget shortfall. We believe without a doubt that, armed with the facts, the American people will agree that the protection and enhancement of the superlative natural, cultural and historic symbols of our shared American experience should indeed be a national priority, particularly in these difficult and unsettling times when the meaning of our heritage is so profound. These places remind us of who we are and how we got here, as a people and as individuals with personal and family connections to special park places. We are very gratified, and frankly relieved that the administration requested and the full House of Representatives and the Senate Appropriations Committee have approved FY 2008 Interior appropriations bills containing a significant first installment in the increases for park operations that are so essential. It would mean, roughly, that the $800 million operating shortfall would drop nearly to $600 million for the 2008 fiscal year. It is a good start. This increase needs to be sustained as the appropriations process moves forward, and we respectfully solicit your help in achieving that goal. I know that you, Mr. Chairman, and many members of this subcommittee, have consistently supported increased funding for park operations in the appropriations process, and I want to thank you for that. Nearly one year ago at Yellowstone National Park, Interior Secretary Kempthorne announced an initiative to re-focus attention on the national parks and their needs in anticipation of the 2016 centennial. One of the key elements of that initiative is the so-called ``centennial challenge,'' and how that concept is to be manifest in legislation is, of course, the subject of today's hearing. But before I discuss the legislation, let me say a word about Secretary Kempthorne. Since his arrival, we have experienced a sea change in receptiveness at the Interior Department to our entreaties about the needs of the parks and the federal responsibility to address them. Clearly, he shares our vision about the value of the National Park System to the American experience, both now and in the future, and I attribute the lion's share of this administration's newfound interest in the national parks to his presence and his commitment to help the parks on his watch. I thank him for his leadership in support of the national parks. Having an experienced director who has worked her way up through the ranks of the Park Service has also been good for the parks. Let me say for the record that it is a pleasure to work with Director Mary Bomar. While the central element of the effort to address the needs of the National Park System during the years leading up to the 2016 centennial must be focused on encouraging the federal government to meet its fundamental stewardship responsibility in protecting and adequately funding the national parks, much of the attention surrounding the centennial initiative has been devoted to the idea of creating a program to carry out selected signature or centennial projects and programs. We heartily support this concept so long as the specific projects and programs are integrated into a vision for the National Park System as a whole and will take the parks to a higher standard of excellence in preparation for their next century. The program should consist of new money, and should not result in reduced funding for other important park needs. Forty years ago, when the Eisenhower administration launched ``Mission 66'', its commitment of $1 billion in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the National Park System, it did so in the context of the development of the interstate highway system, with a vision very much influenced by that endeavor. The $1 billion initiative that President Eisenhower launched and Presidents Kennedy and Johnson continued is worth some $7 billion in today's dollars. Although that investment was devoted to a smaller national park system serving fewer visitors, it was tremendously important. In hindsight, however, it also resulted in what is now acknowledged to have been too heavy an investment in infrastructure projects, some of which needed to be reworked in later years. Accordingly, the centennial challenge must incorporate a strong set of criteria for project selection that will build on the most beneficial aspects of the Mission 66 experience, meet genuine park system needs, and avoid a repeat of past mistakes. It should articulate a vision and define priorities based upon the mandates of the National Park Service Organic Act and its mission. It must contribute to a compelling case that the Park Service will be better equipped to restore natural and cultural treasures, to protect park resources, to serve park visitors, to enhance park science, to engage the full diversity of our nation in the parks, and better connect them to schools and universities. It is essential that the Park Service focus as well on how it needs to evolve in order to fulfill its mission in the next century and to integrate the parks into the lives of more Americans and keep them relevant to the communities in which we live. If that occurs, Congress can be fully justified in making a ten- year commitment to enhanced park funding. From its inception, the National Park System has benefited greatly from the generosity of the American people, who have contributed many millions of dollars in support of their parks in order to assure a measure of excellence in the condition of park resources and the quality of park programs for visitors. According to the Park Service, in 2005 the combined value of contributed services, aid and funding to national parks through cooperating associations, volunteers and friends groups, as well as the National Parks Foundation was approximately $241 million. One of the truly exciting things about the centennial challenge concept is its potential to increase the level of philanthropic support for the park system. We see that as an integral part of the initiative, not just incidental to it. For its part, the Administration proposes to leverage additional philanthropic activity by creating a required match program whereby federal funds would be made available equal to amounts contributed by non-federal sources, up to $100 million per year. That is to say, if only $20 million dollars is raised privately under the program in a year, the federal government would contribute only $20 million. The ``challenge'', therefore, would be to raise at least $100 million in philanthropy every year to ensure that the full $100 million in federal dollars could be released for centennial projects and programs. As is so often the case, the devil is in the details. The administration's bill, which you and Chairman Bingaman introduced in the Senate by request as S. 1253, requires that non- federal contributions be made in cash and paid directly into the Treasury in order to qualify for the federal match. What we have learned from the various parks friends groups and other charitable organizations with whom we have developed close relationships over many years is that counting only cash contributions which are paid into the treasury is too limiting. In fact, by far the largest share of contributions to the park system is in the form of in kind materials and services. For example, in 2005, friends groups donated $61 million--$8.5 million in cash and $52.5 in non-cash contributions, according to Park Service estimates. It is important to note that non-cash contributions often take the form of turnkey facilities such as museums and visitor centers, materials such as the steel used for the restoration at Yosemite Falls, and other projects providing monetary value to directly benefit a specific park. Because such friends groups can often achieve market efficiencies through project management the Park Service cannot, such in kind contributions often result in substantial cost savings. This should be maintained. Under the match proposal, parks with particularly active or successful friends groups likely would be disproportionately advantaged since projects or programs they support would have a greater chance of being funded. Today, there are 391 units in the National Park System. There are some 175 friends groups. Some serve more than one park, but many if not most units have no such groups. Some accommodation needs to be made in the match concept to assure that parks without active, successful friends groups are not disadvantaged or forgotten. Finally, requiring the matching funds to be channeled through the treasury could actually be detrimental to the goal of increasing charitable contributions. Not only does it foreclose giving credit for in-kind or other non-cash contributions, but high-end donors in particular understand that financial gifts made directly to the government do not earn interest but that gifts though intermediary non- profit groups do. Many of those donors also fear that their contributions will not be uses as they intended if they write a check to the federal treasury. The Grijalva/Rahall centennial bill (H.R.3094) introduced in the House of Representatives two weeks ago would also create a centennial fund to be used for selected projects and programs, but makes the philanthropic component optional rather than mandatory. Although the House bill clearly is not yet before this subcommittee, I believe you will find a brief explanation of our views on it informative. Since H.R. 3094 sets up a straightforward $100 million per year dedicated fund for the next ten years, it obviates the problems I just outlined as to what should be considered as qualified matching funds and how those contributions should be passed through, which are created in the administration's bill. For example, by using existing partnership authority, H.R. 3094 avoids the need to create new bureaucratic mechanisms that would be needed to make a philanthropic match requirement work. It ensures, for instance, that parks without active philanthropic partners will receive needed assistance in preparation for the centennial, while enabling friends groups and their national park partners to be as creative as possible in developing additional project or program proposals using the potential federal monetary commitment to leverage additional philanthropic activity. Without the requirement of a match, the bill avoids the need to develop a more encompassing and realistic match definition or to debate the inclusion of appropriate in kind contributions. By using existing partnership authority, it eliminates the need to address whether philanthropists would have to write checks directly to the treasury. That is not to say the potential to increase philanthropy is sacrificed. It will be absolutely critical for the Park service and its partners to work together to maximize the potential for using this program to attract additional philanthropic support. H.R. 3094 allows for sufficient flexibility to enable the Park Service to submit proposals to Congress that include a match component without requiring that funds be withheld from parks based on the existence or lack of a non-federal match. Experience shows that park philanthropies generally follow a philosophy of adding value. If the private sector sees itself as supplanting rather than supplementing the federal responsibility to fund the national parks, philanthropy retreats since no added benefit is evident. Potential donors are in general unwilling to pay for things they perceive their tax dollars should already be covering. By the same token, if potential donors recognize an increase in federal government priority for the national parks and an improved federal commitment to adequately funding park operations, their motivation to add value, including specific park improvements and programs will be invigorated. When coupled with sustained increases in funding for park operations, creation of the national park centennial fund clearly demonstrates the kind of increased federal attention that can lead to expanded charitable giving for the park system. Again, Mr. Chairman, let me commend you and all the members of the Subcommittee, for your interest in taking substantive action to ensure that our national parks are ready to meet the challenges of their second century. The lead up to the centennial presents an extraordinary opportunity to evaluate and prepare to meet these challenges and to reach the park system's full potential as one of our country's premier resources. Our sleeves are rolled up and we are ready and willing to work with you to perfect this important legislation and see it enacted into law as soon as possible. The national parks should be a national priority. By 2016, the entire National Park System should be a model for the world of American excellence and innovation, grounded in protecting the natural and cultural heritage we hold so dear. I am happy to respond to any questions you might have. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Mr. Kiernan. Now we'll hear from Mr. Buchholtz. STATEMENT OF CURT BUCHHOLTZ, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL PARK FRIENDS ALLIANCE, ESTES PARK, CO Mr. Buchholtz. Mr. Chairman and honorable committee members, thank you for inviting me to testify today about Senate 1253. My name is Curt Buchholtz. I am the executive director of the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, a nonprofit organization that's both a cooperating association and a friends group, helping Rocky Mountain National Park. It was established in 1931, so we've been a friend of Rocky Mountain National Park for over 75 years. I am also the president of the National Park Friends Alliance, which is a confederation of some 48 nonprofit organizations engaged in fundraising for the national park system. These organizations, along with the National Park Foundation, work to engage the American public in philanthropy. The host of park--nonprofit national park organizations helping the national parks are collectively proud of their philanthropic track record and an expanding level of accomplishments. I'm not going to go into all of the details of those. I'll include them in my testimony. Philanthropy benefiting national parks has increased substantially over the last decade. In 2005, to offer a recent example, the National Park Service records show that friends groups generated donations totaling $68 million--this is in 2005--with the National Park Foundation adding another 22 million. In total, contributed services, financial aid, and assistance to national parks through volunteers, cooperating associations, and friends groups, totaled 234 million in that fiscal year. So, I think that's a rather remarkable record. Having seen park philanthropy increase over the last two decades, we consider the passage of 1253 as an important step in the right direction. Let me summarize the position of the National Park Friends Alliance. First, we are very enthusiastic about the National Park Centennial Initiative, as articulated by Interior Secretary Kempthorne and Director Bomar. Specifically in regard to the objectives that she discussed earlier today, they fall right in concert with our mission. Second, we endorse the proposal that Federal funds could be made available to match philanthropic contributions. It's our belief that that will increase philanthropic giving all across the country. Third, we believe that the Centennial Challenge acknowledges the significance of philanthropy. For the first time--and I've been working in this field almost 25 years-- Congress has come to realize that there is a wealth of public spirited interest. I believe this is encouragement and appreciation for the philanthropy that's current in existence. Fourth, we support this legislation because it presents a major opportunity for philanthropy to be nurtured at the local level--whether in the iconic parks, like Statue of Liberty, or in Golden Gate, or, as you know, at the USS Arizona, or at the smaller, newer parks, where perhaps currently there isn't a friends group in operation--and widens the opportunity for helping in many different areas, such as wildlife preservation or land acquisition and many other areas that philanthropy hasn't touched yet, at this point. I do have a few concerns, however, that I think we also need to address. First of all, if there is a mandate, as it states in the legislation, that nonprofit organization must transfer donated funds to the Federal Treasury, it is probable that the philanthropic component of the Centennial Challenge will fail simply because of donor reluctance to give directly to the Federal Government. Second, this legislation does not qualify the term ``qualified partners.'' We know of no qualifying process or certification process for nonprofit partners in that sense of the word, beyond having a general or project agreement with a national park. A recent National Park Service report counts 174 friends groups and 64-67 cooperating associations. That represents a fairly sizable set of partners, and presumably their agreements would qualify them, then, for this campaign. Third, in order for this challenge to succeed, we assume the National Park Service will strengthen its resolve to enhance the productivity of partnerships. Successful philanthropy means productivity. Fourth, as envisioned, the Centennial Challenge will be a decade-long endeavor, and we worry about whether funds will be appropriated sufficiently to attract either the immediate or the long-term commitment of donors. We've heard that there are those who doubt the ability of the nonprofit sector to raise the funds equal to the proposed $100 million per year, but with the boost of this legislation, we believe the national parks are guaranteed to become ever greater objects of philanthropic giving. A final concern is that the selection of signature projects should be developed in a context of collaboration with nonprofit partners, including as many of the 391 national park system sites as possible. Here, you find that I agree wholeheartedly with Mary Bomar's testimony. Philanthropy is not the wave of the future. It is already at work. These nonprofit partners that are allied with the government, should be encouraged and applauded. Together, we can ensure that the completion of significant national park improvements, both for the American people and for the next generation. Thank you for allowing me to have the National Park Friends Alliance present its point of view. [The prepared statement of Mr. Buchholtz follows:] Prepared Statement of Curt Buchholtz, President, National Park Friends Alliance Estes Park, CO Mr. Chairman and honorable committee members, thank you for the invitation to testify today about S. 1253, a bill to establish a fund for the National Park Centennial Challenge, and for other purposes. I'm Curt Buchholtz, Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, a nonprofit membership organization working to assist Rocky Mountain National Park, enhancing the experiences of park visitors, and engaging citizens in stewardship. The Rocky Mountain Nature Association was established in 1931 and is a long-term partner with the National Park Service, helping with dozens of park improvement projects and hundreds of educational programs. Permit me to add that I am also the President of the National Park Friends Alliance, a confederation of some forty nonprofit organizations engaged in fundraising to benefit the National Park System. These organizations, along with the National Park Foundation, work to engage the American public in philanthropy and volunteerism and help protect, enhance, and interpret park resources. Many local organizations, like the Yosemite Association, the Mount Rushmore Society, and our own Nature Association have been partners with our individual parks each in excess of seventy-five years. The host of nonprofit partnership organizations helping national parks are collectively proud of their philanthropic track record and an expanding level of accomplishments--which now includes hundreds of completed projects in dozens of parks, ranging from the well-known $550 million campaign to preserve and protect the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to a host of more modest projects, ranging from a $2.4 million visitor center for Rocky Mountain National Park, to land acquisition, historical preservation, programs for kids, and even an educational endowment fund for the Blue Ridge Parkway. We are carrying forward a rich heritage of philanthropic enhancement of our National Park System, linking us philosophically to Stephen Mather, the National Park Service's first director, who was also a major park philanthropist. We cherish deep and positive relationships with the Park Service and a generous American public. At the same time, we applaud Congressional support and concern for our parks. Philanthropy benefiting parks has increased substantially over the past decade. In 2005, to offer a recent example, National Park Service records show that friends groups generated donations totaling $68 million, with the National Park Foundation adding another $22 million. In total, contributed services, financial aid and assistance to national parks through volunteers, cooperating associations, and friends groups totaled $234 million in that fiscal year. Another recent example: a review of philanthropic activity in December 2006 found National Park Service-approved fundraising projects having a collective fundraising goal for nonprofit partners of $295,830,000, with $70,100,000 provided for those specified projects in matching federal funds. Having seen park philanthropy increase over the last two decades, we consider the passage S. 1253 as an important step in the right direction, giving recognition to the importance of philanthropy for our parks. Such legislation can create a positive climate for citizen stewardship and boost the culture of partnerships in public land conservation. The Friends Alliance must reaffirm a core principle, however, stating that charitable funds given to friends groups or directly to a national park must not be used to pay for basic government operations or to offset losses in appropriated funds, unless the donor affirmatively and knowingly restricts the funds to park operations. As the Alliance has consistently stated, the purpose of philanthropy is to add value to national parks--creating a margin of excellence beyond what the Park Service can accomplish alone. Permit me to summarize the position of the National Park Friends Alliance in regard to S. 1532: 1) We are enthusiastic about the National Park Centennial Initiative as articulated by Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne and National Park Service Director Mary Bomar. The five announced goals of stewardship, environmental leadership, recreational experience, education, and professional excellence certainly match our missions as park partners. 2) We heartily endorse the proposal that federal funds could be made available to match philanthropic contributions. It is our belief that a federal match will draw attention to park philanthropy and should increase the magnitude of giving in the decade ahead. 3) We believe that the Centennial Challenge acknowledges the significance of philanthropy. It extends both encouragement and appreciation to public spirited donors. It recognizes that philanthropy has produced positive results in the past and can play a significant and increased role within the context of citizen support for national park stewardship long-term. 4) We support this legislation because it presents a major opportunity for philanthropy to be nurtured at the local level--whether in the iconic parks or the smaller, newly- established sites, opening the opportunity for projects as diverse as land acquisition or education, trail building or visitor services, wildlife research or programs for young people. Innovation is the key to the future. Today it is found most often at the local park level where the National Park Service intersects successfully with nonprofit partners. Of course we also anticipate that major initiatives at the national level will also have a significant impact, especially for smaller sites or for parks with friends groups just getting started. Any concerns we have in advancing this legislation focus on the way this Centennial Challenge may be interpreted as it evolves into a National Park Service program. The success of the Centennial Challenge depends upon the clarification of critical details. For example: 1) If there is a mandate that nonprofit organizations must transfer donated funds to the federal treasury, it is probable the philanthropic component of the Centennial Challenge will fail, simply because of donor reluctance to ``give'' directly to the federal government. Based upon our experience very few donors will place their contributions in federal government accounts--and this requirement in the current bill would greatly inhibit philanthropy. An alternative approach is needed, perhaps through the National Park Foundation, which was established by Congress to receive philanthropic gifts on behalf of national parks. 2) The legislation does not define ``qualified partners.'' Perhaps incorrectly, our assumption is that that term includes friends organizations like our own, cooperating associations, and other nonprofit organizations having project or general agreements with the National Park Service. We know of no ``qualifying'' process now in place to establish a partnership beyond that of general or project agreements. A recent National Park Service report counts 174 friends groups and 67 cooperating associations, which represents a sizeable set of partners presumably willing to be ``qualified'' for this campaign. 3) In order for this Challenge to succeed, we assume the National Park Service will strengthen its resolve to enhance the productivity of partnerships. Currently there are a number of policy issues clouding the horizon, causing projects to be unnecessarily burdened by delays. Successful philanthropy means productivity. 4) As envisioned, the Centennial Challenge will be a decade- long endeavor. We worry that funds will not be appropriated sufficiently to attract either the immediate or the long-term commitment of donors. 5) We've heard that there are those who doubt the ability of the nonprofit sector to raise funds equal to the proposed Centennial Challenge of $100,000,000 per year. But with a boost from this legislation, we believe national parks are guaranteed to become ever greater objects of philanthropic giving. In answer to that concern, allow us to point to the long tradition of philanthropy within national park history. Gifts of land created major national parks, from Muir Woods to the Virgin Islands, from Acadia to Grand Teton. Just a quick survey of our members, from the Yosemite Fund and Golden Gate National Park Conservancy, from the Statue of Liberty to the Mount Rushmore Society, revealed recent gifts of $1 million from the Goldman Fund, $108,000 from the J.M. Long Foundation, $288,000 from Toyota, $1 million from the Donovan Foundation, $250,000 from the RR Foundation, $300,000 from the State of South Dakota Fund, $500,000 from the Goldsmith Foundation, and $15 million from the Haas Jr. Fund. In my own case, a planned gift of $3 million is being given to the Rocky Mountain Nature Association to benefit Rocky Mountain National Park, and will, most likely, be placed toward youth programs and endowments. Each year the magnitude of campaigns around the National Park System continues to grow. Offering just two examples from 2007, Gettysburg is completing a $95 million campaign and the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial has a $33.7 million campaign underway. National Park Service funds committed at Gettysburg total $11.2 million and at the U.S.S. Arizona they total $7.7 million. These two cases alone demonstrate the skillful leveraging of federal funds. 6) A final concern is that the selection of ``signature projects'' should be developed in a context of collaboration with nonprofit partners, including as many of the 391 National Park System sites as possible. As the Centennial Challenge begins, nonprofit partners are committed to its success, both in meeting the expectations of donors and in providing accountability to the National Park Service and to Congress. In the spirit of partnership, in some cases nonprofit organizations will assume project fulfillment; in other cases, the National Park Service may take the lead role. Philanthropy is not the wave of the future. It is already at work. These nonprofit partnerships allied with the government should be encouraged and applauded. Together we can ensure the completion of significant national park improvements both for the American people and the next generation. The National Park Friends Alliance believes that S. 1253, a bill to establish a fund for the National Park Centennial Challenge, presents a challenge to nonprofit partners, no doubt. But it is a welcome opportunity. I can assure you that everyone I've talked to who is engaged in philanthropy is willing to participate in this campaign. We hope the challenge funds will be provided. We hope partnerships are given the tools to succeed. Friends groups, cooperating associations, and other nonprofits allied with the National Park System are energized by this vision and stand ready to help. Thank you for allowing the National Park Friends Alliance to present its point of view. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Mr. Buchholtz. I'd like to ask a question to Director Bomar, and ask you to comment on Mr. Buchholtz's recommendation that in-kind contributions be counted as part of the challenge, since that's the way most donations are made now. Why does the administration's proposal limit Federal matches to cash donations only? Would you agree to include in-kind contributions as eligible for a Federal match? Ms. Bomar. I think we're absolutely flexible, and would like to continue that dialog. Again, yes, our bill does state cash--I think we have some concerns about how we calculate the in-kind, presently. But we are certainly flexible and want to work with this committee, sir, to figure out the best way to do that. Senator Akaka. Then let me ask the other two witnesses, Mr. Cipolla and Mr. Kiernan, for any comment you may have on--or whether you agree with Mr. Buchholtz on in-kind contributions, and whether they should be counted. Mr. Cipolla. Thank you. The in-kind has been, as already stated, a very important part of the philanthropic mix. The thinking, I believe, behind the bill only talking about cash contributions, was that there is a lot of potential in cash charitable giving to the national parks, that the parks themselves, as a charitable cause, barely makes it to the contemporary threshold, in terms of where charitable giving is today, and that, if there were more ways to stimulate cash charitable contributions to individual parks, to the National Park Service, more would, in fact, be made, that the potential is there, that the appetite is there among the charitable community. Having said that, and to underscore Mary's point, we also recognize that in-kind products and services have been very important to the national parks. Those of us in the business of park philanthropy have accepted in-kind products and services. We look forward to a continuing dialog as to how that might be able to be worked into this new approach. Senator Akaka. Mr. Kiernan. Mr. Kiernan. Briefly, I'd add our support to including in- kind contributions in the match process. We want to optimize the creative roles for what should the Federal Government be doing, what should the private sector be doing, and having in- kind as an option, which obviously has worked in the past, we think can work if appropriately managed in the future. It's a way of furthering the public engagement in the protection and enhancement of our parks. Senator Akaka. Thank you. Mr. Cipolla, the administration's legislative proposal does not specifically mention the National Park Foundation. What do you envision to be the role of the Foundation if this bill is enacted? Mr. Cipolla. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. As you know, Congress created the National Park Foundation as a flexible philanthropic charitable vehicle for the National Park Service, and we have fulfilled, for the National Park Service, many roles over time. There are things, though, that a national organization can do that our absolutely outstanding friends groups can't do as easily. For example, national awareness, or national grantmaking programs, or working at the national level with the Director's office and with the Director's partnership office on helping strategize programs with potential donors, and also the requirements in order fill those donations. So, the National Park Foundation, I think, can have a very broad role in its partnership with the National Park Service in fulfilling the needs of the Centennial Challenge. Senator Akaka. Mr. Cipolla, earlier in the hearing I asked a similar question to Director Bomar, but I would also appreciate your views regarding how we assure that parks without active successful friends groups are not disadvantaged or forgotten in the program as established by this bill. Mr. Cipolla. Again, Mr. Chairman, thank you. This is a distinctive area for the National Park Foundation. We conduct grantmaking today among about 290 national parks. We would love that to be the entire system. As a national organization, it's incumbent upon us to be able to work with all parks and to be sure that resources are distributed to small and large parks, alike. In many ways, I think, as the charitable partner for the National Park Service, we are also the charitable entity for those parks that don't have friends groups. Senator Akaka. Mr. Kiernan, your organization recently issued a report which stated the--and quote, ``critical issue for the National Park Service is to develop a compelling case that will induce Congress to make a 10-year funding commitment,'' unquote. Do you think the agency has done so? Mr. Kiernan. The Secretary released to the President, May 31, his vision--I think Director Bomar has a copy of it--for the Centennial Initiative. We think that's a strong document and a great place for Congress and the American public to continue building this vision that we have for the parks for, if you will, their second 100 years of service to this country and to this world. So, we think the Secretary's vision is a strong vision, and we look forward to working with the administration and Congress in making that broad, comprehensive vision a reality by the 100th anniversary. If we are ever going to restore the parks, it's going to be over this coming 10-year window. Senator Akaka. Thank you. Let me call on Senator Burr for his questions, and I have a few, after that. Senator Burr. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me go to the in-kind question that's raised. Mr. Kiernan, personally I believe in-kind should be something we should consider. When you state that, do you believe that volunteerism is considered an in-kind? Mr. Kiernan. That has been a lively discussion. So far, our support has been for more materials and services. We've not yet stated that volunteers should--volunteer time should be part of the match process. So far, we're saying that materials and services--and, frankly, the project management capability of some of the large friends groups, that should be taken account and be part of this centennial matching process. Senator Burr. I look forward to exploring this a little more with everybody concerned. Let me just warn that, when you get into volunteer time being considered an in-kind, I think you get into a very dangerous area--I think you begin to lose people on the Hill, you begin to define things in a way that potentially it could have some effects outside of the world we're talking about here. So, I would caution you very much to try to clearly define, for the purposes of ``in-kind,'' what might be in that basket. Vince, let me ask you, because I got in with the Director on the Proud Partners Program, and used the Ford, sort of, Toyota scenario. Tell me how that would play out, as you see it. Mr. Cipolla. Yes. Thank you, Senator Burr. There are four organizations that are a part of the Proud Partner construct, which, of course, was a framework that was created many years ago. Your question is so spot-on, because the centennial strategy contemplates potentially much wider philanthropic support, and corporate philanthropic support, so there could be tension between those Proud Partner relationships, those four Proud Partner relationships and new companies that want to participate very broadly. The essence is that a Proud Partner has exclusivity around national marketing of the partnership with the National Park Service. That is the essence of the exclusivity, the exclusivity that would be in question. These terrific partners that have been working with the National Park Service for many years, these four Proud Partners, are part of the centennial discussion. They understand that there's a new framework that's being developed. None of them want to be responsible for stopping the philanthropic largesse of another organization. So, more work is going to be needed on developing that. Senator Burr. Does this demand--and I agree with all of you that I think we've only touched the philanthropic potential of parks--but, given the scope of this challenge, does it almost demand us to go back and look at the programs we have in effect, challenge ourselves as to whether we modify those, and, if we don't modify them, how we incorporate them into the challenge, in somewhat of a leveled capacity, so everybody's part of the challenge, there are a few that are considered at a different level than others, and sort it out before we launch two programs that could find an intersection that's uncomfortable? Mr. Cipolla. Yes, sir. The companies that we're talking about expect, very much, to be in that conversation, and are in that conversation. New structures will have to be formed. I mean, there hasn't been a lot of care given to the variety of frameworks for a wide potential of philanthropic partnership and involvement. So, that is the hard work that's underway, and we'll continue to go on with Director Bomar's organization and her partnership office, and with the donors themselves. It's very important, as you recognize, to have them in the tent with us as we're talking these things through. Senator Burr. If the Foundation was given the opportunity to manage $100-million annual matching fund program, what initial changes would you need to make to take on this challenge and ensure its success? Mr. Cipolla. We have been investing in the capacity of the National Park Foundation. The Foundation is not large, and, for many years, it didn't take some of the steps really necessary to encourage and engage the kind of philanthropy we're talking about today. But, in the last 2 years, we've been making those investments in our technology platform, in data base management, in other capacities that we need. So, the Park Foundation is in a very good spot to support the National Park Service, as we're chartered to do so, and managing--and having a broad role in managing the Centennial Challenge. At the same time, as has been recognized, we have an outstanding field of friends groups across the country, powerhouse friends organizations that are very strong charities in their own right. They can handle the opportunity associated with their parks, and they don't need to be eclipsed by a national organization either. So, there's an opportunity, I think; there's the potential for us all to work together. Senator Burr. Mr. Buchholtz, I sort of understand what you say about the reluctance to write the U.S. Treasury a check. I'm thinking that if there weren't some penalties every year, I wouldn't want to do it either. But when you're making donations, it's even a bigger challenge. What would you suggest as an alternative to writing checks to the U.S. Treasury? Mr. Buchholtz. I guess I would base my answer upon what I've already been doing for the last 25 years, and that's writing my checks to a nonprofit organization that's helping a national park. You know, philanthropic giving is a matter of personal choice. We have abiding affection for our national parks. I mean, that's what causes us to take our checkbook out and support the charity of our choice in the United States; and, in some cases, in the national park system, some parks, because of demonstrated needs, or because of personal interest, will draw our attention. I think, in the ideal, it would be wonderful if all 391 parks were engaged in philanthropy, but I'm enough of a realist to understand that there are some parks that just won't draw that level of support, for whatever reason--maybe they're--the case isn't as compelling. But I think, when I write my personal checks, which I've written thousands of dollars of personal checks to national parks, I write them because I believe in them and because I'm convinced that my dollars will be properly spent at that area, using a nonprofit organization as the vehicle for that. Would I send it off to the Federal Treasury? Even if I knew it were going to be matched, I'd have to think about that. I think that's too much of a bridge. Senator Burr. I appreciate your raising the issue, because I think it is something that we all need to think about, and there are some merits to a nonprofit intercession there, because there is some interest that can be earned, where you can't get it in the Federal Government, I will assure you. Mr. Kiernan, is land acquisition an appropriate use of the Centennial Challenge Fund? If so, should S. 1253 be amended to specify that funds can only be used for acquisition involving willing sellers? Mr. Kiernan. We envision this centennial program implementing a set of themes or goals. One set has been what the Secretary's put on the table with those themes. We could see land acquisition as a tactic toward achieving one of the goals laid out there; so, we would see it as option within implementation. So, we would want to see funds available for that. We would be very comfortable with--from willing sellers-- having that be very clear in the bill. Senator Burr. OK, thank you. What do you envision as the role of the National Parks Conservation Association in the context of the Centennial Challenge? Mr. Kiernan. As you may know, NPCA was founded in 1919 as an independent advocate for the national parks. So, we are an advocate for creating a centennial effort, so we are here to work with you, with the American public, to generate the enthusiasm, but we're an advocacy organization, we are not a fundraising organization, like the Park Foundation or Curt's organization or the others. So, we're completely separate from that, and, in all candor, we very strongly applaud their efforts. In particular, the National Park Foundation over the last several years, under Vin's leadership, has done a very good job at building the capacity and the strength of the National Park Foundation to prepare for the coming work ahead. So, we applaud their work. We see ourselves as the independent, separate advocate. We do not do philanthropic work. Senator Burr. Great. Great. Once again, I'd like to thank all three of you and the Director for your willingness to share with us today, and I look forward as we find a way to perfect this, and move forward very quickly. Thank you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Akaka. Thank you very much, Senator Burr. I have two questions. In your written testimony, Mr. Buchholtz, you state that there are a number of policy issues clouding the horizon regarding partnerships with the National Park Service. If S. 1253 is enacted into law, would these issues adversely affect implementation of the Centennial Challenge Fund? Mr. Buchholtz. I would say that there are some people within the Department of Interior and the National Park Service who are listening to the problems that we're facing in the field at this point relative to collaborative work. They are policy issues that deal with such things as--cooperative agreements, for example, would be one, or the issues of facilitating the construction projects or the various kinds of things that these nonprofit organizations are now doing in the national park system. Life isn't as simple as it was 10 years ago, when philanthropy wasn't quite so active. But, as times get more complex, obviously we're pushing the envelope in our ability to have nonprofits work together collaboratively with the National Park Service. I think that's the kind of policy issue that I'm talking about. They are getting sorted out, I'm convinced of that. There are some good heads working on this, both on the legal side of it and on the construction side, to make sure that things are much smoother. My guess is that this legislation passing will expedite, will help move those along even faster, and it will get those issues resolved. Senator Akaka. Director Bomar---- Ms. Bomar. Yes, sir. Senator Akaka [continuing]. My question to you, after hearing Mr. Buchholtz--Do you share his concerns about the Park Service's relationships with its nonprofit partners? Ms. Bomar. Yes, I do, Senator Akaka. I've known Curt for many years. We met at Rocky Mountain many, many years ago. I was an acting superintendent there, and, as they say, we've come a long way. We still have some work to do. The Secretary and I are absolutely committed to improving the process, being more efficient and effective, and working with our partners. Yes, we do have some barriers that we have to work with, but we certainly look forward to this challenge, Senator Akaka. One of the things that we have said is that Americans have always loved their national parks. This is not just about the money; it is about re-engaging the American public. I think that we're certainly looking at a whole new era, with wonderful opportunities ahead of us, and we need to seize the day. It's the right time, right place, right people to make all these things happen and put this foundation in place. Shame on us in the Park Service if we can't get our act together in some areas to make these partnerships work much more efficiently. I give credit to the partnership office; they have come a long way with us. We are working very closely with our solicitor's office to make sure that we can work through some of these issues. Mr. Kiernan. Mr. Chairman, if I may just jump in with a brief comment--and I believe it's consistent, thematically, with their two comments--that Director's Order 21, as it was promulgated within the last year, we do see that as an important framework that articulates the appropriate role of philanthropy in working with the Park Service. No doubt, there are places where things still need to get sorted out, but we do see the current Director's Order 21 as an important framework to keep in place. Senator Akaka. Mr. Cipolla, would you care to make any comments about that? Mr. Cipolla. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think the point has been well covered. I would like to also say, under Director Bomar's leadership, that there has been a lot of focus on the area of partnership, and a lot of pragmatism in approaching that focus. We want to applaud the National Park Foundation, applaud our number-one partner, the National Park Service, on all the work they're doing in the partnership area. Ms. Bomar. Thank you, Vin. Senator Akaka. I thank all of you for your responses, and your testimony, as well. I know that Director Bomar, Mr. Cipolla, and Mr. Kiernan also testified at the House hearing on this same issue this morning. I looked up at the clock, and I thought, ``Well, you've had a long day.'' [Laughter.] Senator Akaka. So, I really appreciate your time and your patience here, and your testimonies and your responses, because it's going to help us to try to push this National Park Centennial Challenge on its way. As Senator Burr noted earlier this afternoon, we don't often devote an entire hearing to a single legislative proposal---- Ms. Bomar. Yes. Senator Akaka [continuing]. Which we are doing at this moment. But, since it's not every day that we discuss how to find an extra billion dollars for our national park, it seemed worth the extra time. So, here we are together. All of the testimony today will be very helpful as the committee considers this bill, and I look forward to working with Director Bomar, Senator Burr, and the other members of this committee as we try to figure a way to move this proposal forward. We may receive questions from other committee members who were unable to attend, and, if we do, we'll submit them to you in writing and ask that you answer them so they can be included in the hearing record. Senator Akaka. This has been a great hearing, and thank you, again, for all that you've done. This subcommittee hearing is adjourned. [Whereupon, at 4:04 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.] APPENDIXES ---------- Appendix I Responses to Additional Questions ---------- Responses of Mary Bomar to Questions From Senator Salazar PUBLIC INPUT Director Bomar, let me begin by thanking you and your staff for responding to my request for additional public hearings in Colorado on the National Park Service Centennial Challenge. You held hearings in March in Denver. Durango, Alamosa, and Grand Junction. These public meetings, I trust, will help guide how you approach the Centennial Challenge, I want to ensure that the public can continue to play a central role in shaping the development of the Centennial Challenge. Specifically, the public needs to be able to help decide what projects are labeled ``signature projects'' and their input needs to be systematic and periodic. The people who use the parks and live near the parks, after all, will have some of the best ideas for Tlow to prepare our Parks for the 2016 centennial. Question 1. How will the Park Service continue to solicit public input on the Centennial Challenge over the next several years? What role will the public have in suggesting and reviewing projects that may become ``signature projects''? Are you planning additional public meetings in Colorado to discuss the Centennial Challenge? Answer. The National Park Service conducted more than 40 listening session across the country to create the centennial vision as expressed in The Future of America's National Parks, the report that Secretary Kempthorne and Director Bomar presented to the President and to the American people on May 31, 2007. The public welcomed the listening sessions with such enthusiasm that the National Park Service has committed to making them annual events at every park. The public also submitted comments on line, and we will continue to use that avenue to collect ideas. We received 6,000 comments, including many suggestions or ideas for centennial projects. Park superintendents have access to the comments and ideas related to their parks to consider for future centennial project calls or for potential integration into regular park business. PARKS RANGER SCHOOLS PARTNERSHIP PROGRAM In my opening statement, I mentioned that I will be introducing a bill that will create a grant program for schools that partner with the National Park Service to bring kids into the outdoors and more rangers into the classroom. The grants would be for up to $25,000 over three years. Question 2. What educational programs are you proposing as part of the Centennial Challenge? Will you be seeking authorization for any of these programs through the No Child Left Behind reauthorization? Answer. Of the 201 projects and programs that have been determined to be eligible for Centennial Challenge funding in FY 2008, more than 70 are in the ``education'' category. These programs represent a range of initiatives for reaching out to youth, improving interpretive exhibits and materials, and taking other steps to use parks as opportunities for learning. We will not be seeking authorization for any educational programs through the No Child Left Behind reauthorization or through any other legislation; all the selected centennial projects and programs for FY 2008 will be for activities that are already authorized. NPS BUDGET We cannot mistake the $100 million in matching funds that this bill is proposing to create as a substitute for annual appropriations to fund operations, maintenance, acquisitions of inholdings, and educational programs. Question 3. What commitment will you provide the Committee that the Administration will submit a budget request that will reduce the estimated $7.8 billion maintenance backlog, $1.9 billion inholdings acquisition backlog, and reverse the trend of cuts to education programs and visitor services? Answer. Funding through the Centennial Challenge Fund is intended as a supplement to, not at substitute for, funding for operations, maintenance, land acquisition, and visitor services that is provided through the annual appropriations process. The Challenge Fund proposal was paired with the ``Centennial Commitment'' to help ensure that regular appropriations for the National Park Service would be increased substantially at the same time that additional funding was made available through the Challenge Fund partnership program. The Centennial Commitment is the Administration's pledge to propose an additional $100 million each year for operations and maintenance at national park units, which includes interpretation and education and other activities that directly benefit visitors. Responses of Mary Bomar to Questions From Senator Burr Question 4a. The National Park Foundation is chartered by Congress as the only national charitable partner of America's National Parks. Director Bomar, how would you describe the relationship between the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service? Answer. The relationship between the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service is strong and productive. The Foundation's mission is to strengthen the enduring connection of the American people and their national parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness. The National Park Service and the Foundation operate under a general agreement outlining strategics, policies and procedures governing grant-making, partnership communication and other partnership activities. In 2005, the Foundation received nearly $22 million of contributed property, goods, and services, which includes benefits directly to the parks (e.g. visitor center films, vehicles, materials for trails, photograph contest prize, etc.) and to the Foundation. The Foundation also holds many restricted accounts for parks. Additionally, the Foundation has established a number of initiatives to directly support specific National Park sites or types of sites such as the African-American Experience Fund and the Flight 93 National Memorial Fund. As our national fundraising partner, the Foundation is in a unique position to raise funds nationally for the benefit of the entire National Park System. Question 4b. What do you see as the role of the National Park Foundation in implementing the Centennial Challenge Fund? Answer. As the Congressionally chartered fundraising partner of the America's national parks, the Foundation has a 40-year track record of raising public awareness, cultivating citizen stewardship, and increasing philanthropic support for the benefit of our national parks. The Foundation has stated that the Centennial Challenge Fund will offer incentives for charitable partners to work collaboratively and creatively to develop fundraising campaigns that affect the entire National Park System. We see the Foundation playing a key role in cultivating the collaboration and generating the creativity necessary to make the Centennial Challenge Fund a success. The Foundation is working to expand the dialogue around park partnerships, including its hosting of the first-ever Leadership Summit on Partnership and Philanthropy. The Summit, held in October at the University of Texas at Austin, explored how public and private interests can work together. Speakers and participants included senior business leaders, foundation directors, park professionals, government officials, educators, and others excited to help build the next century of citizen stewardship of our national parks. Question 5. Many National Park units have friends groups that raise money for special projects and organize volunteers to assist the parks. Friends groups are accustomed to working directly with park staff on projects funded by private donations. What do you see as the role of friends groups in selecting and implementing projects funded by the Centennial Challenge Fund? Answer. Friends groups will not be selecting the projects funded under the Centennial Challenge Fund--that was done by the National Park Service for the FY 2008 projects, and will continue to be done internally for future selections. However, the role of friends groups will be critical to the success of the Centennial Challenge program. The National Park Service recognizes philanthropic and volunteer support as both a noble tradition of the national parks and a vital clement of the Service's success. The National Park Service actively engages the help of over 170 local friends groups, which contribute time, expertise and privately raised funds to support our national parks. These local friends groups range from volunteer and start-up organizations to large-scale, successful fundraising partners to long-time programming and education partners. Potential Challenge Fund projects were generated from the ``ground up'' by park managers who worked closely with their friends groups to determine the best matches between park needs and opportunities for friends groups to generate philanthropic support. Friends groups and other partners have made commitments worth a total of $215.9 million toward the 201 proposals (worth $369.9 million) that have been determined to be eligible for Centennial Challenge funding in FY 2008. We see this as a strong indicator of the commitment and the capacity our friends groups have in carrying out the Centennial Challenge. Question 6. Director's Order Number 21 covers donations and fund raising by the National Park Service, The Director's Order, which was updated on May 1, 2006, provides for philanthropic donations and donations tied to advertising called Corporate Campaigns. Do you anticipate any changes to Director's Order 21 if S. 1253 is enacted? Answer. No, we do not anticipate any changes in Director's Order No. 21. Responses of Mary Bomar to Questions From Senator Barrasso Question 7. According to your letter to the Committee on July 19, 2007, ``teams of National Park Service professionals will evaluate the projects and programs and summarize the implementation strategies.'' Question 8. What will be the make-up of these teams? Answer. Three teams met in Washington to evaluate the FY 2008 projects and programs. The ``project'' team was responsible for evaluating project (i.e--non-programmatic) centennial proposals based on established criteria. The members of this team had experience on the National Park Service's line-item construction team and used a rigorous process called ``choosing by advantages.'' The team members represented all regions and the Washington office, and was composed of employees in varied disciplines from landscape architecture, facility maintenance and park management, to budget and information technology. The ``program'' team evaluated potential centennial programs for individual parks while keeping an eye toward their potential for national application and benefits. Team members represented a broad knowledge of National Park Service programs and contributed specific, applicable knowledge in one or more of the five centennial goals. These team members also represented every region and the Washington office, and brought varied expertise as park superintendents and program managers with experience in interpretation and education, wilderness management, partnerships, science, resource stewardship, and information technology. The ``strategies'' team, like the others, represented all regions and the Washington office, and the members brought to their task a broad understanding of the centennial goals, a sense of vision, and openness to new ideas. These team members have varied experience as park superintendents and program managers. They read, summarized, and excerpted the best and brightest ideas from the parks' and programs' centennial strategies. Question 9. How will the team members be chosen? Answer. National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Wenk asked regional directors and associate directors to recommend the best employees to serve on the teams based on the work of the teams and the expertise and experience those tasks required. Question 10. Do the teams have the final say on the list recommended projects, or will you and Secretary Kempthorne make final determinations? Answer. The teams applied criteria and their expertise in evaluating the centennial proposals. Based on their work, they recommended proposals that were ``certified eligible for Centennial Challenge funding.'' After reviewing the list, Secretary Kempthorne and Director Bomar made the final determinations. The teams did an exceptional job in putting forth proposals that meet the criteria, move us toward centennial goals, have partner support, and will prepare parks for another century of conservation, preservation, and enjoyment. Question 11. What role will Congress play in deciding how the $100 million dollars in discretionary funds is allocated each year and which signature projects and programs are awarded a federal match? Answer. Under S. 1253 as introduced, the Secretary would be required to submit to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, the House Natural Resource Committee, and the Senate Energy and Natural Resource Committee the list of signature projects and programs eligible for funding from the Challenge Fund and any additions made to the list as they are added. In addition to fulfilling these requirements, we are committed to having an ongoing dialogue with Congress on the criteria used for the selection of programs and projects and on the selected programs and projects themselves. Question 12. Who specifically will administer the federal matching program and how much will it cost to administer? Answer. The National Park Service would administer the matching program in much the same way that other funding provided to the Service is administered--through our Comptroller, acting under the direction of the Director, and delegating responsibility for obligating the money as appropriate. We have not determined the cost of administering the program. Question 13. S. 1253 would require up to $1 billion in direct spending over 10 years. Do you have an offset in mind to help Congress in passing this bill? Answer. There are several mandatory proposals with savings in the President's budget for FY 2008 that are under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Natural Resources. They are listed below with the estimated net amount of savings they would generate over the next 5 and 10 fiscal years. We are not asking Congress to use any of these proposals specifically to offset the Centennial Challenge proposal; we list these only to illustrate some options for offsets. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Net Savings 2008- Net Savings 2008- Proposal 2012 2017 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ MMS Net Receipt Sharing $227 million $447 million Deduct states' share of administrative costs of onshore mineral leasing program from their receipts ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Coal Bonuses $426 million Require full payment of bonuses on all new coal leases at the time of leas sale, consistent with oil and gas leases ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Federal Land Transaction $186 million $334 million Facilitation Act Update BLM lands available for disposal and change the distribution of proceeds from those sales ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Arctic National Wildlife Refuge $4,010 million $4,025 million Open Section 1002 of Coastal Plain to energy exploration and development ------------------------------------------------------------------------ BLM Range Improvements $ 47 million $ 97 million Deposit grazing fee receipts in Treasury instead of Range Improvement Fund ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Energy Policy Act of 2005 $184 million $309 million Repeal fee prohibitions. and mandatory permit funds (Sections 224, 234, 344, 345, 365) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Pick Sloan Missouri Basin $115 million $230 million Program Recover capital costs from power users ------------------------------------------------------------------------ ______ Response of Vin Cipolla to Question From Senator Bingaman Question 1. S. 1253 reflects the Administration's proposal. If you were developing this proposal from scratch, what would you do differently? Answer. We believe the process the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior have followed to create this proposal has been open, inclusive, and transparent. Friends groups, user groups, corporate partners, philanthropic organizations, and the public have all participated in the process. The proposed bill recognizes the importance of private and public interests working in tandem and furthers the tradition of private citizens participating in the preservation of our national parks. We encourage you to revisit the requirement in the bill that private funds must come to the federal government to trigger the federal match. Many donors are reluctant to give to the federal government and such a provision will hinder philanthropic giving. To provide the necessary fiscal responsibility and realize the full potential of each donation, irrevocable letters of credit could be employed by the fundraising partner and their local financial institution. In addition, the National Park Foundation (NPF), as the congressionally chartered philanthropic arm of the National Park Service, could act as the repository for philanthropic donations and act as the fiduciary agent for the Centennial Fund. Responses of Vin Cipolla to Questions From Senator Burr Question 1. The National Park Foundation has been chartered for several decades to raise and distribute funds for National Parks. If given the chance to amend S. 1253, what would you change to allow the National Park Foundation to apply its mission toward implementing the Centennial Challenge Fund? Answer. As the national philanthropic partner of the National Park Service, the NPF raises private funds for national parks and serves as a fiduciary agent. NPF has been asked by the Secretary of the Interior to lead a national, coordinated fundraising campaign in support of the Centennial Challenge Initiative. Given its congressional charter, the NPF could also act as the fiduciary agent for the Challenge and accept and administer privately raised funds. Removing the requirement that private funds must be deposited in the federal treasury would encourage increased giving as many donors are reluctant to donate to the federal government. This approach would also allow for the private funds to accrue interest while waiting for release of the federal matching funds. Question 2. If the National Park Foundation was given the opportunity to manage a $100 million dollar annual matching fund program, what initial changes would you make to take on such a challenge and ensure success? Answer. The NPF is gearing up to lead the national capital campaign in support of the National Park Service centennial. We will conduct this campaign in concert with national, regional, and local partners including friends groups and cooperating associations. We have contracted with an outside firm to prepare a feasibility study that will recommend how best to structure, administer, and manage a national philanthropic campaign of this scale over a ten-year period. We will use recommendations from this study to build and manage the campaign, including the addition of staff or contractors to provide NPF with the necessary capacity to achieve the campaign goals. Question 3. What is the Proud Partners Program and does S. 1253 create any potential conflicts with the program? Answer. The Proud Partner program is a national cause-marketing program that was established by the National Park Foundation in 2000. The program raises public awareness about our national parks and funds park programs that engage youth, support volunteers, address conservation and resource issues and restore park trails. Since its inception, the Proud Partner program has contributed more than $100 million in cash and resources to the National Park Foundation to support public education initiatives and park programs system-wide. Several leading corporations have made significant contributions to the parks through the program including current partners American Airlines, The Coca Cola Company, Ford Motor Company and Unilever. Each of the Proud Partners has pledged its commitment and support to the Centennial Challenge Initiative. We are confident that the NPF, the Proud Partners, and the NPS Partnerships Office can work through any concerns regarding the program as it continues to evolve in response to changing needs and opportunities. The Proud Partners have been long supporters of the national parks and will be instrumental in raising public awareness and building our donor base to achieve the philanthropic goals of the Centennial Initiative. Question 4. How closely does the National Park Foundation work with friends groups and do you have an existing arrangement to accept funds from and distribute funds to the groups? Answer. The NPF works closely with friends groups to achieve the highest level of philanthropic support for the national parks and build lasting relationships between people and their parks. NPF participates in regular conference calls with the Friends Alliance and hosts the group's Washington, D.C. meetings. NPF's support of national programs and awareness campaigns complements and furthers the work of friends groups at the local level. NPF has also collaborated with friends groups on specific projects and in the future, may accomplish some of its work through these organizations. Question 5. According to S. 1253, an irrevocable letter of credit is not sufficient for obligating funds towards a project. We have heard from friends groups that if an irrevocable letter of credit is treated with greater confidence, donors would be able to hold funds in interest bearing accounts for a longer period. This would allow the donation to increase. What is your experience with irrevocable letters of credit and is there a risk in treating them with greater confidence than S. 1253 would allow? Answer. Irrevocable letters of credit are well-accepted financial tools. They are often used in international transactions and while the NPF does not routinely use them, similar instruments that rely on the creditworthiness of a financial institution are commonplace. In the case of the proposed Centennial Challenge, the letter of credit would be backed by the financial institution and protect the federal government from the failure of the partner to fulfill their obligation. The commitment could not be changed or altered without the agreement of all parties. We do not see a risk in treating letters of credit with greater confidence. Responses of Vin Cipolla to Questions From Senator Barrasso Question 1. Have you seen an increase in donor interest since the announcement of the Centennial Challenge Initiative last August? Answer. Yes. In the last fiscal year, our number of individual donors has increased by 40%. Through conversations with donors and in particular, corporate and foundation partners, interest in the Centennial Initiative--particularly the Challenge proposal--is high. The opportunity to leverage their gift with federal funds is very appealing to donors. We are excited by the energy and innovation these partners are bringing to the Centennial discussion and by the increase in philanthropic giving that may result. Question 2. In my home state, the Grand Teton National Park Foundation did a fantastic job of raising $13.6 million in private funds for the construction of a new Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Grand Teton National Park. The Park Service would not accept a letter of credit to begin the project. Not being able to use a letter of credit cost the Foundation approximately $500,000 in interest charges. These donated dollars could have been better used for a project in the park not on interest on a bank loan. How can we better use letters of credit to ensure that we maximize private gifts to the national parks? Answer. Irrevocable letters of credit, or similar financial tools, can provide the flexibility necessary to maximize the potential of a donation. Funds can be released exactly when they are needed to maximize the interest bearing potential of the private donation. This is particularly important in multi-year projects and construction projects when funds must be in place for a project to begin, but may not need to be released immediately. Question 3. This bill allows federal matches for letters of credit, but only one fiscal year at a time, and the funds cannot be obligated until they are deposited in the Challenge Fund. It can be months after funds are obligated and contracts are signed before the money is actually needed to pay the bills? Couldn't these funds be accruing interest in the interim? Would you change this provision in any way? Why or why not? Answer. Letters of credit could be important tools in administering the Centennial Challenge. They provide the federal government with the assurance that the necessary donated funds have been secured, while maximizing the power of the donation by allowing funds to remain in an interest bearing account until absolutely needed. ______ Response of Tom Kiernan to Question From Senator Bingaman Question 1. S.1253 reflects the Administration's legislative proposal. If you were developing this proposal from scratch, what would you do differently? Answer. NPCA starts with the presumption that no initiative on behalf of our national parks will be sufficient unless it is accompanied by a significant, sustained effort to augment the base operating budgets of the national parks. This year's effort by the administration, and by Senate and House appropriators, with important encouragement from you and many members of your committee, makes a start and is critically needed by the parks. That said, the idea of a special program with dedicated funding to carry out selected projects and programs to make the park system even better is a good one, particularly if it also serves to raise the park system's profile and re-engage the American people by encouraging added philanthropic and other non-federal support. In the past, NPCA has supported the idea of doing that by creating the opportunity for the American people to support their parks with a tax check-off on their tax forms. As embodied in the National Park Centennial Act the stream of revenue created by the tax check-off would be supplemented by federal dollars to ensure that the job got done and that the federal government met its primary responsibility to the parks. We still believe that idea has merit, and it would have provided greater resources than contemplated under the Centennial Initiative and Challenge. Nonetheless, one important parallel between the Centennial Act and the Centennial Challenge is the involvement of the American people with their parks. As I mentioned in my testimony, we believe the federal match requirement in the administration's proposal is unnecessarily limiting in an effort that has a goal of further involving the American people in their national parks. Reinvigorating and enhancing the philanthropic spirit directed toward the national parks is a worthy goal, which can be achieved while also encouraging other forms of involvement from civic and educational institutions and communities around the nation that may not have the means to provide a dollar-for-dollar cash match. The Secretary's August 23rd announcement of the initial round of centennial proposals and the truly encouraging level of non-federal, philanthropic financial support already committed demonstrates the enormous interest among philanthropies and other non-federal entities in committing to the reinvigoration of the national park system. We would suggest that such interest will and should continue regardless of whether the federal government requires a dollar-for-dollar cash match or simply encourages matching and other partnership efforts. Clearly, there is enormous support for enacting the Centennial Challenge in some form, and we encourage the committee seize this opportunity and move legislation. NPCA is eager to assist in this endeavor. Responses of Tom Kiernan to Questions From Senator Burr Question 1. Mr. Kiernan, what is the relationship between the National Parks Conservation Association and the National Park Foundation? Answer. As a private, non-profit advocacy organization for the National Park System, NPCA has no direct or formal relationship with the Congressionally chartered National Park Foundation. We do, maintain a very strong, cordial working relationship with the Foundation, and we often consult, cooperate and work closely with NPF personnel on subjects and projects of mutual interest. The central distinction between our two missions is the Foundation's role as a philanthropy that raises money directly for the national parks, and NPCA's historic and continuing role as the major national advocacy organization working on behalf of the national parks. The Foundation does not lobby Congress on behalf of the national parks, and NPCA has no intent or desire to intrude on the Foundation's mission as an increasingly able and effective fundraiser on behalf of the parks, themselves. Question 2. What do you envision as the role of the National Parks Conservation Association in the Centennial Challenge? Answer. Again, as a private, non-profit advocacy organization for the National Park System, we do not envision a formal or explicit role in the Centennial Challenge. We are extremely proud of the role we played in encouraging the administration to launch the Centennial Initiative and in working with so many friends in Congress to demonstrate the need for such an effort. We will, of course, continue to be active in providing ideas, comments, encouragement and criticism to help shape policy decisions we feel are needed to ensure that the entire Centennial Initiative is carried out in the manner that provides the greatest possible benefit to the National Park System and its mandate as set out in the National Park Service Organic Act. Responses of Tom Kiernan to Questions From Senator Barrasso Question 1. Does the bill do enough to protect the parks from commercialization? Answer. The potential for commercialization of the national parks as a result of increased private financial participation is a concern. The Interior Department has demonstrated it is sensitive to that concern by specifying in Section 6, subsection (d) of the bill that it does not expand existing authority regarding the ability of National Park Service personnel to receive or solicit donations. It appears the intent is to make clear the Centennial Challenge is to be executed under the requirements of Director's Order 21, which was issued a little over two years ago. In addition to providing rules for soliciting and receiving private donations, it also restricts the things that can be done in parks to commemorate these contributions. NPCA was deeply involved in helping shape Director's Order 21, and we are generally comfortable that commercialization of the parks will not occur if its requirements are followed. We would be more comfortable with the administration's bill if it included an explicit instruction that all aspects of Director's Order 21 apply to the Centennial Challenge program, as the bill introduced in the House by Congressman Grijalva and Congressman Rahall does. Question 2. Under this federal matching program, do you believe smaller, less recognized park units will receive the same consideration and fundraising attention as large, celebrated parks? Answer. We have been worried that the lesser-known, so-called ``have not'' parks may be disadvantaged under the administration bill's match formulation. Those parks with the most active and successful friends organizations tend to be the larger, better know, iconic parks, and it would seem the non-federal share of money for proposals in those parks would be more readily available. That is one reason we have argued that the range of selected projects and programs should include those that benefit the entire park system, not just individual parks. It seems the Park Service has been sensitive to this concern, inasmuch as the list of qualified proposals announced on August 23rd is relatively well balanced, including system-wide proposals and some from smaller park units, as well as a number from the iconic parks. Nonetheless, the absolute requirement for a dollar-for-dollar match, unless changed, poses the risk that the many units of the National Park System that do not have major philanthropic partners and are unlikely to see such entities develop in the near future, could largely be left out of the Challenge. We would encourage the committee to explore ways to strongly encourage matching and to celebrate the role and promise of philanthropy, while also encouraging and providing resources for worthy and needed endeavors and partnerships that encourage public involvement where the contemplated dollar match may not be possible. ______ Responses of Curt Buchholtz to Question From Senator Bingaman Question 1. S. 1253 reflects the Administration's legislative proposal. If you were developing this proposal from scratch, what would you do differently? Answer. If we were developing this proposal from scratch, allow us to provide the following suggestions: a) We would voice enthusiasm for the philosophy of challenge grants and believe it will greatly encourage the philanthropic community to expand its effort. b) We would include legislative language that would allow matching funds from the federal government to be distributed directly to nonprofit organizations having signed agreements with the National Park Service for the Centennial Challenge campaign. c) We would employ standards and processes already in place within the federal government in general and the National Park System in particular to ensure both success and accountability. d) If federal funds could not be distributed directly to nonprofit partners and regarding an accounting for funds raised, we would rely upon the National Park Foundation as an intermediary between Congressional matching funds and local nonprofit (or other nonfederal) partners, not unlike the matching grant system productively in place within the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. e) Only cash would be transferred to the National Park Foundation for accounting and matching purposes, then returned to the nonprofit (or other nonfederal partner) to complete authorized projects. Certified letters of credit could also be used to validate the existence of matching funds. Cash would be transferred to the U.S. Treasury only in those cases where the National Park Service is designated as the project facilitating agent and the funds could be restricted for specific project purposes. f) Rules or regulations related to challenge matched funds (including such details as recognizing, in-kind services, lands, or other non-cash matches) should parallel existing successful programs, such as the National Park Service challenge cost-share grant program and successful, existent MOA programs established between individual parks and their nonprofit partners. An audit committee within the National Park Foundation comprised of independent and qualified volunteers, working together with the National Park Service and consistent with generally accepted auditing and accounting practices, should establish the accounting requirements, qualifying criteria, and reports sufficient to satisfy both the Internal Revenue Service and committees of Congress. Responses of Curt Buchholtz to Questions From Senator Burr Question 1. How much did friends groups that belong to the Friends Alliance donate for National Park Service projects and programs in 2005 and 2006? Would you expect donations to increase if a Federal matching fund program is enacted? Answer. The National Park Friends Alliance is just beginning to track or report donations from its individual members. But that information can be derived from Line 13 of IRS Form 990 of the individual nonprofit organizations. For historical purposes, the Alliance relies on data collected by the National Park Service or the Government Accounting Office. To quote the most recent data available from the National Park Service regarding friends groups: ``There are 174 friends groups contributing time, expertise and privately-raised funds to support our national parks. They range from volunteer and start-up organizations to large-scale successful fundraising partners to long-time programming and education partners. Contributions from friends groups were determined by review of the publicly available 2005 IRS Form 990 for friends groups with incomes $25,000 or greater (approximately 45% of NPS friends groups). The NPS uses the donation figures reported by the friends groups to the IRS. These figures are not equivalent to cash or non-cash donations directly to the National Park Service but rather show the expenditures of a friends group in support of their mission and by extension the work of the National Park Service. In 2005, approximately $8.6 million in cash and $59.8 million in non-cash support were contributed for a total contribution of $68.4 million.'' Question 2. How many volunteer hours did the members of the Friends Alliance provide to the National Park Service in 2005 and 2006? Answer. The National Park Friends Alliance does not collect information from its members regarding volunteer hours contributed to the National Park System. Responses of Curt Buchholtz to Questions From Senator Barrasso Question 1. What role will the National Park Friends Alliance play in shaping and implementing this federal matching program? Answer. Over the last fourteen years, the National Park Friends Alliance has addressed issues related to fundraising policy and increasing philanthropy within the National Park System. Although the Alliance remains informal in its structure, its active membership has steadily grown to forty-eight organizations. It does not represent the entire array of 174 friends organizations identified by the National Park Service. But it does represent many of the long-term and most advanced fundraising organizations within the National Park System. It enjoys well-established ties with the National Park Foundation, the Association of Partners for Public Lands and some 67 cooperating associations. Since the National Park Friends Alliance has an expressed objective of enabling and expanding philanthropy within the National Park System, it is logical that it will not only play a key role in implementing this new federal matching program, it may be relied upon to help ensure its success. The individual friends groups will be instrumental in developing the programs with their national park partners, and implementing the campaigns to solicit the non-federal funds. Question 2. If this bill is enacted, how would you prepare for the increased fundraising and administrative activity required to make the federal matching program a success? Answer. Unlike large bureaucracies, nonprofit organizations relish an ability to respond to opportunities presented in stride with their mission, exhibiting an almost entrepreneurial zeal. Advancing their public-spirited missions to help national parks, friends groups stand ready to rally donors to much-needed projects. But we hasten to add that raising the needed funds is only a fraction of the workload envisioned. Producing completed projects in national park requires more skills than fundraising. To be successful we must have expeditious decision making, both by nonprofits and by Park Service colleagues. Success will require partnership-friendly leadership skills. It requires collaborative planning. Success will depend upon a broad vision to ensure the long-term health of the parks. It will require flexibility in recognizing valuable matches to program implementation, such as donations of lands and establishment of endowments. It will require increased training, not only in philanthropy but also in project management, continuing unabated over the next decade. It requires hosts of donors satisfied with results. It will require visionary leadership, a strong commitment to accountability, and sheer persistence to be successful. Question 3. Do you believe you can secure significant, sustained contributions over ten years? Answer. If Congress and the National Park Service foster and encourage philanthropy, donor interest and contributions are guaranteed to increase. If Congress, working together with the National Park Service and its nonprofit partners, creates a challenge grant program working in tandem with the philanthropic world, America's national parks will be better places, improved beyond our imaginations by 2016. At the same time, we will have perfected the process of building productive partnerships, guaranteed to foster park stewardship far into the future. Appendix II Additional Material Submitted for the Record ---------- Statement of Derrick A. Crandall, President, American Recreation Coalition Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Members, the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) appreciates the opportunity to applaud the interest of Members of this committee and others in assuring a bright future for the National Park Service and its role as manager of one of the nation's truly spectacular legacies--the nearly 400 units of the national park system. I am Derrick Crandall and I am delighted to offer testimony on behalf of the members of the American Recreation Coalition--more than 100 national organizations, representing virtually every segment of the nation's $400+ billion outdoor recreation industry, and tens of millions of outdoor recreation enthusiasts. A listing of our members is attached to this testimony. Our organization has played an active role in federal recreation policy since its creation in 1979. Outdoor recreation is a vital and positive force in our nation today. Nine in 10 Americans participate in outdoor recreation today, and a major catalyst for this involvement is the marvelous shared legacy of our Great Outdoors--one in three acres of the surface of the nation managed by federal agencies and hosting well in excess of a billion recreation visits annually. ARC monitors participation in outdoor recreation closely through national surveys. A summary sheet on participation is attached.* --------------------------------------------------------------------------- * Summary sheet has been retained in subcommittee files. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- The benefits accruing from recreation participation are significant, and the appreciation for these benefits is growing. The economic significance of outdoor recreation is obvious in communities across the nation, and especially those communities proximate to federally managed lands and waters. From boat dealers to campground operators, from RV manufacturers to ski rental shops, from retailers selling outdoors goods to guides and outfitters, tens of thousands of businesses and millions of Americans are supported by the expenditures on recreation by American families. And increasingly, America's recreational opportunities are a key factor in luring international visitors to enjoy the world's best systems of parks and forests, refuges and other public sites. The role of recreation in addressing serious concerns about the increasing inactivity-related obesity of the American people, especially our young people, is also significant. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, seven in 10 deaths are attributable to preventable, chronic diseases--like diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer--associated with obesity and inactivity. In addition, a national study has shown that nearly 20,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with diabetes every year. A critical cause is the tripling in the rate of obesity among young people since the 1970's, due, we believe, in no small part to the six and a half hours they now spend indoors every day watching TV and using computers. We believe that an important antidote to this alarming picture is outdoor recreation. We also believe that recreation opportunities on our nation's public lands, including our national parks, are an essential asset in the effort to encourage people to change their behavior and start enjoying the outdoors. Mr. Chairman, the recreation community is ready to join with many other organizations as partners with the National Park Service to prepare the national parks for the agency's second century, beginning in 2016. We applauded the announcement one year ago by the Secretary of the Interior, Dirk Kempthorne, that the President was using the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service as an opportunity to look ahead 10 years, to develop a consensus on how to restore and enhance park units and to add to the system's quality. We continued to applaud when the President's FY 2008 budget proposal incorporated a genuine and major commitment to this goal--a boost in spending of some $4 billion over 10 years, and a bold and exciting initiative to invite public participation in enhancing our parks. We continued to applaud when Members of Congress embraced this initiative, adopting FY 2008 spending levels that reflect major increases in spending on operations and maintenance and long-neglected elements like interpretation. And we now applaud those who have introduced legislation to create a Centennial Fund that would fund the signature projects needed to ensure a bright future for the National Park Service as it enters its second century. We associate ourselves with the recommendations made by Gary Kiedaisch, President and CEO of The Coleman Company, regarding opportunities to improve the legislation, including adoption of a Fund modeled after the fund created by the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act--a fund that has demonstrated an ability to use and leverage nearly $3 billion in federal funds since 1998 for important conservation, recreation and environmental goals. We are delighted in the broad definition of signature projects contained in S. 1253 and the flexibility it provides the Secretary to prepare the parks for another century of conservation, preservation, and enjoyment. We especially urge the Congress to recognize the vital importance of needed recreation infrastructure in our parks. Americans need better trails, better campsites and better boat launches in our parks. In recent years, the national parks have benefitted from significant increases in park road funding through allotments from the Highway Trust Fund. We have also seen significant reductions in the backlog of maintenance needs in our parks. Yet very little investment has been made in expanding and improving recreation opportunities. We need readily accessible, front-country trails equipped with interpretation--whether traditional means such as display panels or new technology ranging from podcasts to cell phone-accessible recorded information. We can and should find ways to expand trail riding opportunities for cyclists--on trails designed to minimize environmental impacts and conflicts with other trail users. These projects should be high priority for the Centennial effort, and we applaud the emphasis put on recreation experiences in parks in the Secretary's May 31 report to the President. We also strongly support the Secretary's suggestion that a campaign to get Americans outdoors and active should be mounted. Finally, we urge adoption of a strategy for funding the Centennial Challenge Fund. We ask this committee to allow Interior to generate a supplementary revenue stream from reduced energy expenditures at Interior facilities. Energy costs are a significant and growing expense for Interior bureaus like the National Park Service. Capital investments can reduce those costs. Substitution of co-generation and geo-thermal processes is a proven solution for increasing efficiency, for example, but requires investments often not reflected in near-year budgets. Interior could be given a target of reducing energy costs department-wide by $50 million by 2009 and for every year thereafter, and be empowered to allow suitable companies to invest in advanced heating and cooling, lighting and vehicle programs that will help achieve those targets. Under a shared savings program, the reduced energy expenditures could be divided evenly to repay the investors in efficiency and to generate $25 million annually for the Challenge Fund. A second suggestion is that Interior be charged with identifying locations on lands it administers where tree planting could occur to offset greenhouse gas emissions, and then to allow companies and organizations to plant approved trees paid for by individuals and companies, either under voluntary ``carbon footprint reduction'' initiatives or to generate emissions reductions credits. Twenty-five percent of the funds for the plantings would be paid to Interior: half of that amount would be used to administer the program and deter fraud and the other half would be deposited into the Challenge Fund. We believe these would be valuable, win/win components in providing an offset to the expenditures proposed for the Challenge Fund. Thank you for your interest and your actions to assist America's national parks and America's Great Outdoors. We urge rapid action on legislation to stimulate the partnerships needed to allow our national parks to enter and continue a second century of world-wide leadership and of providing benefits to the American public. Outdoor Recreation Activities Participated In Past Year: Trend Data % who have participated in during past year; ranked by 2003 data 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2003 % % % % % % % % % Walking for fitness/recreation NA 45 39 42 47 42 57 49 46 Driving for pleasure 40 36 33 34 39 35 41 36 43 Swimming 35 31 28 31 33 40 39 40 41 Picnicking 33 29 24 26 30 32 36 36 38 Fishing 26 24 22 20 22 28 26 28 28 Bicycling 21 20 16 19 19 22 23 23 22 Running/jogging 19 16 13 12 16 16 18 21 19 Campground camping 16 16 12 12 15 21 17 18 18 Hiking 18 18 12 15 17 15 19 22 18 Outdoor photography 15 15 10 13 15 12 17 17 17 Bird watching 14 11 8 11 10 11 16 18 16 Wildlife viewing 18 15 10 14 16 15 16 20 16 Visiting cultural sites NA NA 12 14 18 16 16 17 15 Golf 11 12 11 11 12 12 13 12 13 Motor boating 10 9 5 8 9 11 9 12 10 Back packing 13 12 8 7 10 10 9 10 9 Canoeing/kayaking 6 5 4 5 5 7 5 7 8 Hunting 8 7 7 5 7 8 8 8 8 RV camping 8 8 6 7 7 9 9 9 8 Wilderness camping NA NA NA NA NA NA 8 8 7 Horseback riding 6 5 5 4 4 6 5 6 6 Motorcycling 7 5 6 4 4 6 5 6 6 Off road vehicle driving 5 5 5 5 7 7 7 7 6 Target shooting 8 6 5 4 5 7 6 6 6 Tennis 9 9 7 8 5 6 8 8 6 Mountain biking 5 5 4 4 4 6 5 5 5 Personal water craft (e.g. jet skis) NA NA NA 3 5 5 5 6 5 Downhill skiing 6 6 5 5 5 4 4 5 4 Water-skiing 6 6 3 4 4 6 4 6 4 In-line skating NA 4 4 5 6 5 5 6 3 Rock climbing 4 4 3 3 4 3 4 4 3 Rowing 3 2 1 2 1 1 2 2 3 Sailing 4 3 3 3 2 3 2 4 3 Snorkeling/Scuba diving 4 3 3 3 3 4 3 4 3 Cross-country skiing 2 3 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 Snowboarding NA NA NA NA 1 3 2 3 2 Snowmobiling 2 3 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 (NA) denotes not asked AMERICAN RECREATION COALITION sustaining members America Outdoors American Association for Nude Recreation American Council of Snowmobile Associations The Coleman Company Family Motor Coach Association Good Sam Club International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association Kampgrounds of America National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds National Forest Recreation Association National Marine Manufacturers Association National Park Hospitality Association Pennsylvania Recreation Vehicle and Camping Association PriceWaterhouseCoopers Recreation Vehicle Dealers Association Recreation Vehicle Industry Association ReserveAmerica SGMA International The Walt Disney Company contributing members Academy of Model Aeronautics American Horse Council American Motorcyclist Association American Sportfishing Association American Trails Americans for Responsible Recreational Access APN Media, LLC Association of Marina Industries BoatU.S. Bombardier Recreational Products Coachman Industries, Inc. Domestic Sales Corporation Family Campers and RVers Florida RV Trade Association International Association of Snowmobile Administrators Jayco, Inc. Leisure Systems, Inc. Marine Retailers Association of America Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks Motorcycle Industry Council National Alliance of Gateway Communities National Ski Areas Association National Sporting Goods Association National Tour Association Personal Watercraft Industry Association Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association SAMPO, Inc. Seaway Trail, Inc. Specialty Equipment Market Association Specialty Vehicle Institute of America States Organization for Boating Access Thor Industries, Inc. Warren Jones Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA general members American Association for Leisure and Recreation American Bus Association American Forests American Hotel and Lodging Association American Power Boat Association American Resort and Residential Development Association Bicycle Manufacturers Association of America Boating Trades Association of Texas Champion Fleet Owners Association Clean Beaches Council Colorado Agency for Campgrounds, Cabins & Lodges Cross Country Ski Areas Association Employee Services Management Association Experimental Aircraft Association International Association for Amusement Parks and Attractions International Family Recreation Association International Jet Sports Boating Association International Kart Foundation Kampground Owners Association Maryland Association of Campgrounds Michigan Association of Recreational Vehicles and Campgrounds Michigan Boating Industries Association Mountain Outdoor Recreation Alliance of Western North Carolina National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics National Association of Trailer Manufacturers National Boating Federation National Club Association National Hot Rod Association National Off-Road Bicycle Association Outdoor Industry Association Professional Paddlesports Association Recreation Vehicle Indiana Council Recreational Vehicle Aftermarket Association Resort and Commercial Recreation Association Southern California Marine Association Special Recreation for disABLED International Texas Recreational Vehicle Association Western States Tourism Policy Council ______ Statement of Joe Fassler, Chairman, National Park Hospitality Association Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, my name is Joe Fassler. I serve as Chairman of the National Park Hospitality Association (NPHA), a volunteer position. NPHA represents businesses working as partners with the National Park Service in providing treasured memories for visitors to our parks. Our organization is delighted to extend our support for action by the Congress to help our national parks serve the nation well long into the future and applaud both the Administration and the Congress for recognizing that 2016 is an opportunity to unify and strengthen the efforts of all those who care about national parks. Companies--large and small--have long been partners in meeting the needs of visitors to America's national parks. Today, the National Park Service has 600 contracts in place under which appropriate lodging, transportation, food, guide services, retail operations and more are provided to 280 million customers annually. In total, concessioners serve some 50% of all park visitors and the 25,000 employees of the concessioners constitute a vital source of information and guidance to those visiting park units. The total value of goods and services purchased by park visitors now approaches $900 million annually, and the franchise fees and other payments to special accounts by concessioners generate $50 million annually in resources which remain available to the agency. In addition, concessioners provide even more than that annually in maintenance to federal structures and facilities, and in voluntary contributions of goods, labor and services. In many parks, concessioners lead major volunteer efforts to maintain trails and remove trash from roadsides, trailheads, shorelines and other areas. And concessioners are increasingly playing a key role in informing visitors about opportunities to contribute to park needs and collecting contributions under guest donations programs. NPHA is proud to represent leading national park concessioners and to focus on fostering active partnerships with the public and the government for the joint purpose of (i) preserving and protecting park resources, and (ii) accommodating visitor access to and enjoyment in our National Parks. As an association, our specific goals are to: Build cooperation with the Department of the Interior and the NPS at all levels; Secure the active support of park visitors for protection of park resources, for adequate visitor accommodations and service, and for continued park access for all people; Serve as a resource to Congress regarding relevant park legislation; and Assist the NPS with educational and interpretive programs for visitors, teaching about the wonders and history of the park and about stewardship responsibilities. Mr. Chairman, we are delighted to be among the growing list of organizations that have endorsed the National Park Service Centennial Initiative and are committed to contributing to its goals. Beginning more than 100 years ago, park concessionaires have regarded themselves as a partner with NPS in a goal that became codified in the agency's organic act in 1916: enhancing the visitor experience and preserving and protecting the resources of the parks unimpaired for future visitors. NPHA is particularly excited about the opportunity to add a new tool for the next century--a ``Challenge Fund'' which invites and supports partnerships and leverages available federal funds. In a letter to the Secretary of the Interior in May of this year, our association and the executives of top park concessioners pledged active support to the Centennial Initiative in three ways. First, we will utilize our direct contact and communications with park visitors to alert them to the Centennial and to invite their personal involvement in supporting and enhancing our parks. Second, as individual companies, we will work with local friends organizations and park managers to provide support for Centennial signature projects. And third, we are working together to identify programs which will provide national support to nationally-significant Centennial projects. NPHA is especially excited by the Challenge aspects of S 1253 and the potential to double--or more--federal funding. We believe that there is a willingness on the part of businesses and non-profit organizations to step up to this challenge. Mr. Chairman, our park concessionaire association has long believed that more can be done to reverse the decline in the park visitor numbers--and the loss of benefits to the public that are derived through those visits. The Centennial Initiative is the forum for action on this and other important needs. Yet our ability to participate through NPHA and as individual companies will be hampered unless the Congress also helps address an impediment to partnerships. Under Directors Order 21 and other policies, concessioners are greatly constrained from assisting the National Park Service. We are generally ``prohibited sources''--not allowed to contribute directly to important park projects and programs. Working around this prohibition is often costly in dollars and time and undercuts opportunities for close alliances. It is time to address this issue and untie our hands. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, NPHA is grateful to this committee and its Members for the enthusiasm you have shown to making national parks an integral part of the American lifestyle for the next 100 years. We urge you to incorporate our suggestions and those of other leading recreation leaders and to move ahead swiftly to create a National Park Centennial Challenge Fund. ______ Statement of Gary A. Kiedaisch, President and CEO, The Coleman Company, Inc. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to add my voice in support of the goals and key elements of S. 1253, a bill that would establish funding for the National Parks Service Centennial. I am here as an advocate for using the Centennial as a catalyst for new partnerships between corporate America and America's parks, partnerships which can be key forces in park revitalization and re-engaging the public with the outdoors. I'm a fortunate American because, as President and CEO of The Coleman Company, my passion for the outdoors coincides with my vocation. I frequently suggest to audiences, ``If you're never awakened on a crisp fall morning inside the warmth of a sleeping bag under the protection of a tent next to a babbling brook, you have missed one of life's greatest experiences. And if you have never shared this experience with a child, you have missed one of life's greatest opportunities.'' But this experience I describe in reality depends upon foot soldiers with the right skill sets, working cooperatively. We at The Coleman Company, in concert with an army of partners in the outdoor industry, in the retail trade and with organizations like the Boy Scouts and public park agencies, have been cultivating that skill set for more than a century. Beginning in 1900, the role of The Coleman Company has been to lead the charge in getting people outdoors. When you expose people to the great outdoors, our founder said, you're introducing them to the wonder, the healing powers and the joy of being close to nature. So many others have echoed that sentiment, most notably President Theodore Roosevelt. I am proud that The Coleman Company has championed this message throughout its 100+ years. One of my predecessors, Sheldon Coleman, came before Congressional panels in the 1960's--as well as other bodies, including the platform committees of both political parties--to urge creation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He also championed the expansion of the Dingell-Johnson Fund and creation of the National Trails System and the National Scenic Byways Program, and served in a leading capacity on the President's Commission on Americans Outdoors side by side with Senators Bennett Johnson and Malcolm Wallop. Yet today the messages of Teddy Roosevelt, and Sheldon Coleman, and of many of you, are falling on deaf ears--or at least distracted ears. Today, the average youth spends six and one-half hours every day tied to television and computer screens. Today, nearly 20,000 additional American children are being diagnosed with diabetes annually. Today, we face an obesity epidemic for all age groups, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and especially among urban and suburban youth. Today we have millions of youth diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and medicated to control disruptions in classrooms. Today, we see unrelieved stress leading to drug abuse, roadway rage and abuse of loved ones. Today, we are grappling with the long-term healthcare costs of growing numbers of inactive senior Americans. And today, we know that regular doses of healthy active fun in the outdoors are a remedy--a cost effective and medically effective remedy--to these challenges that now jeopardize the quality of life for millions, render many U.S. businesses uncompetitive and pose daunting economic hardships for government agencies at the local, state and national levels. a great opportunity for partnerships The National Park Service and other government entities should not be the only foot soldiers in this campaign to re-engage the public with the outdoors and harvest the physical, the mental and the spiritual benefits. That has been increasingly the pattern over fifty years, under Democratic and Republican leadership alike. And it has left us with an underfunded system of parks and other public places and declining visitations. It is time to be as bold as we were as a nation one hundred years ago, as bold as we were fifty years ago. It is time to invite the business community in as a partner to help provide the places and the programs that serve societal needs. The corporate world is a huge, untapped resource for both funding the outdoor places and the message about the benefits of these places. And it is at its best in getting messages out. In addition, business has the power to make getting outdoors into a national priority. That is a marketing challenge, the very skill set that business has in great supply. Engaging corporate America in this campaign will, without question, broaden public support. It will also help tap into a national structure for communicating the message from the local, to the regional, to the national parks level using the same tried and true business practices that have made this country's economy the strongest in the world. At The Coleman Company, our business is making the outdoors more accessible and more appealing to an ever more sedentary population. We provide the tools and the information for people to get to the fun of the outdoors faster and make the experience one that they'll want to repeat over and over again. The mandate of our company is to get people outdoors, having fun and reaping the physical and emotional benefits of an outdoor lifestyle. We're not alone. Corporate America has gotten the outdoor message, has been preaching it in its marketing messages and is ready to answer your call. In partnership with the National Park Service, key corporations can help make our National Parks relevant to today's Americans. Businesses know the consumer pretty well. Knowing the customer is the difference between success and failure. And it is important to remember that consumer spending on recreation in America today is some $400 billion annually and growing. At Coleman, our insights into America's leisure wants are delivered through the marketplace, and the success of our efforts is reflected in the fact that most families visiting national parks arrive with one or more of our products: a cooler or a lantern, a stove or a sleeping bag, a tent or one of our fishing rods, a Coleman canoe or an inflatable water tube or kayak. But our parks are largely disconnected from feedback from the marketplace. Case in point--visits to Shenandoah National Park have been declining significantly in recent years. One of several reasons--the park hasn't added the infrastructure that people seek. Mountain biking, one of the fastest growing categories in family outdoor activity, for example, has been ignored despite available administrative roads and underused trails. Corporate American knows how to fix a disconnect like that by linking park offerings with consumer demand. Forging this coalition is an opportunity for government to bring together a broad cross-section of American business resources, including representatives from a wide array of different sectors, each with a vested interest and each with unique contributions. Imagine recruiting executives from the country's most successful entertainment companies, healthcare companies, travel companies, outdoor companies and auto companies, as well as countless others, and setting them to the task of repositioning the National Parks as destinations, not just places to visit. I ran a four season Ski and Golf resort and know, all too well, the painful difference. Marketing is what drives business and marketing, along with park revitalization, will be the driving force behind this campaign's success. I recently learned that the average length of stay at many of our national parks is equal to the time it takes to drive across them. Think of if, visiting the natural wonders of Death Valley National Park, an area roughly the size of the state of Connecticut, for only three hours. What a waste. Want the solution? Ask business. One of the critical missions of this initiative is to remind the American public of their responsibility to be stewards of the land by using and not abusing it. Business applauds this and, through effective marketing, will make it possible for the parks to include stewardship education. Coupled with the right park offerings, visits and length of stay will increase. By identifying and funding new activities that will attract today's consumer to the parks, participation rises and everyone wins. I am not simply touting real effective partnerships as an academic exercise. The Coleman Company relies heavily on partners--partners like the Continental Divide Trail Alliance and the Appalachian Mountain Club, Wal*Mart and specialty sporting goods retailers. We combine dollars and manpower and other assets to serve seamlessly those people who seek positive memories of time in the Great Outdoors. And this is the template that the National Park Service should pursue as it approaches its Centennial and enters its second century. Partnerships will help us focus on and overcome the barriers that exist to connecting Americans with their lands--barriers like onerous insurance requirements placed on non-profits and profits seeking to help youth discover the fun of the outdoors at parks. In my discussions on Capitol Hill and with Administration executives over the last year, I have often referenced the model of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as a way to meld public and private forces into a force for the public good--in that case, equipping American youth to achieve greatness and stand on podiums to receive medals in international competition. And the USOC succeeds without commercializing sports, just as we need to succeed without commercializing parks. This Congress and this Administration are engaged in a dialogue that demands a win/win. We need to transcend divisions, including political divisions. And we need to open the doors to innovation. It is time to look closely at innovative efforts underway within many state park systems, including partnerships that replace investments of public funds with private capital. It is for us to adopt lessons learned from partnerships at Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts--a National Park Service unit--and the Smithsonian. We need to learn and adopt the best practices from partnerships like the Claude Moore Colonial Farm--a unit of the National Park Service that serves the public without a NPS staff. recommendations on legislation I opened my testimony by applauding the legislation subject to today's hearing. It is easy to find elements of the bill to support. Yet I urge the committee to look for a derivative of this bill complete with some new elements as its work product. First, we applaud this truly exciting opportunity for individuals, non-profits and businesses to be invited to the table to help define the programs that deliver this revitalized outdoor experience and share the tab. This bill provide up matching funds that could boost annual funding to $200 million or more annually through 2016. Let me also express strong support for a change to the legislative proposals before you to capitalize on recent lessons. S. 1253 envisions a Centennial Fund with matching donations Far more preferable would be a fund from which matching grants could also be made. A model for this would be the Southern Nevada Public Lands Management Act, which, since 2000, has received nearly $3 billion from the auction of surplus federal lands in Southern Nevada. It is used to award grants for annual projects in land acquisition, capital projects and environmental restoration. Typically, the projects it funds are leveraged, but these matching funds do not need to be deposited into a federal account and the projects can be achieved faster and often more efficiently than through traditional federal procurement efforts. We urge adoption of a similar model for the Centennial Fund, with project selection vested in the Secretary of the Interior and with oversight from a board created in the Centennial legislation. I am also told that the goals we share must be resolved in compliance with federal budgeting and appropriations guidelines. I live well outside the Beltway and don't profess to understand PAYGO and offsets. However, the support of America's business leaders for the Centennial Initiative will be strong if the Fund is truly a mandatory program through 2016, with a definite commitment of federal funds. Finally, I need to comment on the language in H.R. 3094 regarding project categories and categorical percentages. While some guidance is needed, I strongly urge the Congress to avoid highly prescriptive formulas that may force the National Park Service to ignore the public and partner input into the Centennial initiative. Far better would be regular Congressional oversight and consultation with the agency. My concern is increased by a reliance on categories and formulas in a similar house bill, H.R. 3094. In addition to these weaknesses, H.R. 3094 also fails to include a category of vital interest to The Coleman Company and all recreation interests: needed investments in recreation infrastructure. We vastly prefer provisions now in S. 1253. A visit to a national park should not be defined by time spent looking through the windows of your personal vehicle or a park tram, and it should not be focused on time spent in a visitor center. America's parks need more and better trails, better campsites-- developed and backcountry--and better fishing piers and boat launches. The Coleman Company's interest and support of the Centennial initiative, and that of our partners, is focused on the recreation infrastructure of the parks. For the record, I strongly support use of the Centennial Fund to go beyond the physical aspects of parks. Attention to and investment in is needed to such non-physical needs of the parks as marketing, interpretation, events and outdoors activity training programs. summary As a lifelong outdoor advocate working in a company whose name is synonymous with the outdoor lifestyle, I can think of nothing that would affect positive change faster in the use of these national treasures than to increase the number and diversity of interests engaged in their revitalization. The goals for this effort are clear. The benefits to the public are also clear. All that remains, as we say in business, is to get the right people on the bus, put them in the right seats, and decide where the bus should go. Today I thank you for including corporate America on the National Park Service Centennial Celebration bus as a partner in this important initiative. Its contributions will be many, its financial support will be significant and the result will be a healthier, happier and more outdoors oriented public. Together, we will make the National Park Service Centennial Celebration into a lifestyle changing reality for everyone. ______ Statement of The National Trust for Historic Preservation Chairman Bingaman and members of the Committee, for more than 50 years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has been helping to protect the nation's historic resources since 1949. As a private nonprofit organization with more than a quarter million members, the National Trust is the leader of a vigorous preservation movement that is saving the best of our past for the future. The Trust applauds your leadership in this and many other areas under your panel's jurisdiction. For years the Trust has been calling attention to the National Parks and the need to support the National Park Service's (NPS) vast historic and cultural inventory. The preservation community is grateful for your leadership in considering ambitious legislation that includes mandatory new spending on our national parks with priorities for allocating these funds. This, along with partnerships that would foster philanthropic contributions, will provide long-needed resources for the parks as they enter their second century in 2016. Funding shortfalls over many years have been and continue to be the most serious problem affecting the national parks. According to the National Parks Conservation Association, every year the NPS is under- funded by $800 million. This has resulted in deferred maintenance and a backlog of preservation needs that now exceeds $7.8 billion dollars. As a result, national park staff and managers can barely keep up with their charge to ``engage and inspire visitors, and protect natural and cultural resources.'' This magnificent network of public assets that is the envy of the world is in jeopardy and in immediate need of repair. Under these circumstances, the Trust urges Congress to create a protected, dedicated fund--separate from the amounts included in the regular appropriations account for the national parks--to address the many needs of the System. This would include monies to address deferred projects and programs, park priorities, and the work needed to ready the units prior to being in the national spotlight during their centennial. The dedicated fund should be established along with the necessary increases in national park funding that--as part of an ongoing, multi-year effort--would eventually make the System whole again and empower the Park Service to be the best stewards of America's natural and cultural resources for future generations. A creative component of the centennial initiative is a program to undertake centennial projects that are high-profile and signatory in nature. The Trust likes this concept as long as it is consistent with our position that it not take away from the basic funding Congress provides for fundamental park priorities. The Trust strongly urges the Senate to make it clear that this should be new money and not money that would offset existing appropriations or come from other national park programs. It should also direct that the Park Service maintain permanent staffing levels, and not substitute permanent employees with temporary workers for these types of projects. The Trust would also like to see this dedicated fund for centennial projects guided by a clear selection process with objective standards and prioritization criteria that also provides flexibility in the types of projects approved. These should fit into a holistic and comprehensive planning framework that takes into account a project's benefit to the entire System--this includes projects that would benefit the System's manifold historic and cultural resources along with its natural resources. Equally as important as protecting our natural treasures is the need to safeguard the nation's cultural heritage. Every one of the 391 units in the System contains major cultural resources that the Park Service is charged with protecting and preserving for all Americans. In addition to historic structures, cultural resources also include culturally significant landscapes, archeological and ethnographic resources, and museum collections. Once these invaluable resources are lost, they are lost forever and cannot be replaced or interpreted for future generations if they disappear through neglect. Congress and the Administration could not make the System whole again in time for the centennial if the Park Service's historic and cultural resources are not provided for in this initiative. To place the urgency of the Trust's request into perspective, the Park Service has responsibility for the stewardship of America's most significant historic sites and museum collections. Sixty-two percent of the 391 park units managed by the NPS were designated as historic or cultural in nature by the Congress and every one of those contains important prehistoric and historic places or collections. When it comes to archeological sites, the Park Service has relatively little data on the number of archeological sites within their purview. And for those archeological sites for which they do have information, less than half are in good condition. In calendar year 2003, approximately 370 incidents of vandalism or looting related to archeological or paleontological sites were reported. The Park Service's museum collections rival those of the Smithsonian, in size (105 million objects, specimens, documents, and images), scope, and significance, yet the Service has catalogued only approximately 48 percent of their collections. The collections include a wide variety of personal objects from our past, including Abraham Lincoln's cane--given to Frederick Douglass by Mary Todd Lincoln, General Robert E. Lee's mess kit and field desk, important American art like Thomas Moran's painting of the Yellowstone Valley, and even historic furniture. The picnic table used by President Johnson when he signed the Education Bill is just one example. Of the historic landscapes identified by the Park Service, nearly 70 percent is in poor or fair condition. One example in that category is the farm, recreation buildings, and landscape at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan. This site represents the history of the area as it grew from farming and lumbering to a tourist destination in the 1920's and thus to designation as a National Seashore. The Park Service simply does not have the financial resources to collect the most basic data, to repair and maintain our nation's most important historic structures, archeological sites, historic landscapes, or museum collections in the System. All are irreplaceable elements of our shared American heritage and worthy of public support. S. 1253 would leverage additional philanthropic support though a required non-federal match program. Under this proposal, federal funds would be available in equivalent amounts contributed by non-federal sources up to $100 million per year. While the Trust strongly endorses any initiative that encourages partnerships between the Park Service and its partners to attract substantial levels of additional philanthropic support, it should be optional and not mandatory. Nearly half of the units in the System have ``friends groups'' that supplement federal budget resources with private giving. A mandatory match could place national parks with the most active friends groups at a distinct advantage over units with less active or inactive friends groups. The former would have a greater chance of being funded and could adversely affect the level of federal support needed by some of the more disadvantaged units. The initiative should also foster a more creative method of assessing in-kind contributions that would not exclusively relegate philanthropy to sending a check right to the Treasury alone. The Trust routinely helps raise non-federal matching dollars for national park projects as the leading private-sector partner in the Save America's Treasures (SAT) program. This is an area in which we have a great deal of expertise. We have secured over $55 million in preservation dollars for 100 federal grantees and other significant preservation projects and help find private funds to meet SAT's own federal challenge criteria. A very substantial part of this effort has benefited National Park Service projects such as Ellis Island, Valley Forge, Edison's Invention Factory, Mesa Verde, and George Washington's Tents at Yorktown. More than 19 percent (almost $11.4 million) of the SAT private funding has been designated for NPS sites and more than $12 million in federal SAT challenge grants has been awarded to national parks. Mr. Chairman, in 2016, just under a decade from now, the Park Service will be 100 years old. In setting aside places of history and natural beauty, Congress expressed, in a very tangible way, its belief in the nation's future. It appointed the NPS as the steward of those 391 parks and entrusted their care to its men and women. Yet the national parks and the Park Service's cultural programs have remained under-funded for the task. As we approach the centennial of the national parks, Congress and the Administration have the opportunity to remedy the situation by appropriating the funds necessary to maintain our cultural and natural heritage for America's public and the nation's posterity. The Trust applauds you and this Committee for working to make this country's national parks the best that they can be as they we prepare them for their next century. These nine years are a defining moment in meeting the challenges the System faces to accomplish this task. The Trust stands ready--along with the preservation community, park friends, and philanthropic organizations--to assist Congress and the Administration in any way possible to regain lost ground and make these units a global model for protecting America's cultural and natural treasures.