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Alaska’s Leaders Recognized for Commitment to National Parks


Voting Record on Park Issues Earns NPCA Award

ANCHORAGE – Alaska’s two senators, Lisa Murkowski and Mark Begich, have been honored with a Friend of the National Parks award from the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) for their contribution to protecting and enhancing America’s national parks. The award, presented to 236 members of Congress on June 13 recognizes members with pro-park voting records during the 111th Congress.

“National Parks are such an important part of Alaska’s economy and it’s great to see our two Senators recognized for supporting parks and the role they play in our visitor industry,” said NPCA’s Alaska Regional Director Jim Stratton. “People visit Denali to watch wildlife or to try to see the mountain, they experience glaciers in Kenai Fjords and learn about old mining history in Kennecott. Everywhere they go, they leave a little money behind in local communities.”

NPCA’s Friend of the National Parks award was established in 1999 to track and publicize congressional members’ votes on significant park issues. For the 111th Congress, NPCA examined 12 key House votes and 6 key Senate votes, including key votes on appropriations (where Senator Murkowski holds a committee seat) that ensure our parks have enough funds to provide needed visitor facilities and the park rangers to staff them.

NPCA research shows that for every dollar invested in national parks, $4 is generated in local economies. In 2009, national park tourism and visitor spending provided $216,224,000 to Alaska’s economy.

Senators who voted pro-park four out of six times received the award as did House members who supported parks on at least seven out of twelve votes.

A complete list of the 57 senators and 179 representatives who received NPCA’s award is available online: http://www.npca.org/park_policy/friend-award.html

Since 1919, the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association has been the leading voice of the American people in protecting and enhancing our National Park System. NPCA, its 600,000 members and supporters, and many partners work together to protect the park system and preserve our nation’s natural, historical, and cultural heritage for our children and grandchildren.
For more information, visit: www.npca.org.

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