National Parks Second Century Commission Meets in the Smokies

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A commission examining our national parks will commence a three-day meeting on June 2 in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The meeting is being conducted by the National Parks Second Century Commission, a group which has been formed to examine the role of national parks and will help to develop a vision for their future.

This meeting will be the final in a series of five meetings the Commission has conducted over the last year.

The Second Century Commission consists of nearly 30 national leaders and experts, including scientists, historians, conservationists, academics, business leaders, policy experts and retired National Park Service executives, and is being led by former Senators J. Bennett Johnston Jr. of Louisiana and Howard H. Baker Jr. of Tennessee.

The group will also hear from a range of experts, park managers, and the general public. The public is welcome to attend this meeting.

The goal of the commission is to create a report that outlines how park services can be expanded to reflect cultural changes and to establish a 10-year program to repair and enhance the parks through a mix of public and private funding.

Commissioners will then put together a report, with recommendations, that will be delivered to the Department of the Interior by late 2009.

Citizens have an opportunity to make their voices heard during this process. You can offer input through the Commission's website, or, you can speak to specific issues through one of the seven working committees.

Please visit the Second Century website for more information.

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