STATEMENT OF SUE MASICA, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, PARK PLANNING, FACILITIES, AND LANDS, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE SENATE SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS OF THE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES, CONCERNING S. 2252, TO DESIGNATE THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WILDLIFE ART, LOCATED AT 2820 RUNGIUS ROAD, JACKSON, WYOMING, AS THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF WILDLIFE ART OF THE UNITED STATES.
APRIL 6, 2006
Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to present the views of the Department of the Interior on S. 2252, a bill to designate the National Museum of Wildlife Art as the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States.
The Department has no position on S. 2252 since it involves the renaming of a private museum that is not located within the boundaries of any federally owned property and is not under federal jurisdiction. However, the Administration would not support future federal funding for a newly designated National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States as proposed in this bill. Also, while we are not aware of one, prior to moving forward with this bill we would encourage the subcommittee to determine that there is not another National Museum of Wildlife Art that might object to the redesignation of this museum.
The National Museum of Wildlife Art is a private, non-profit entity located just outside of Jackson, Wyoming, across from the National Elk Refuge and only a short distance from Grand Teton National Park. Although the museum is not affiliated with the park, it supports the park’s mission to preserve and protect wildlife and serves many of the same visitors.
Grand Teton National Park has a relationship with the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Currently, the park and the museum are working together on a special exhibition of the works of Thomas Moran, one of the premier painters of the American West, and the artist who accompanied the Hayden Expedition into Yellowstone in 1871. Moran is perhaps most widely known for his monumental paintings of Yellowstone, works that showed the American people for the first time the spectacular natural treasures of the area and inspired them to preserve it as the world’s first national park. The area that was to become Grand Teton National Park was also the subject of Moran’s brush, and the park has several of his works in its museum collection. This summer, those works will be on loan to the National Museum of Wildlife Art and displayed as part of an exhibition celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Hayden Expedition that first explored and documented the region that is now Yellowstone National Park. Additionally, we expect to continue our close relationship with the museum in other ways that are of interest and benefit to both parties.
That concludes my testimony, I would be glad to answer any questions that you or other members of the subcommittee may have.