Department Of Interior

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Office of the Secretary
John Wright, 202-208-6416

For Immediate Release: Aug. 24, 2004

Jim Whittington, 505-672-3861, ext-512
Secretary Norton to Commemorate National Park Founders Day with Visit to Bandelier National Monument, Aug. 25

WASHINGTON-Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton will visit Bandelier National Monument Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004, to commemorate National Park Service Founders Day. During the visit, Secretary Norton will observe firsthand the progress the park has made in repairing and restoring park buildings and other facilities that were once part of the park's maintenance backlog.

"Our national parks and special places are treasures that belong to the American people," Norton said. "Founders Day is an opportunity for us to show our pride, connect with our visitors and reflect on the importance of the National Park Service mission. It is because of this important mission that we are working aggressively to do all we can to address the park maintenance backlog in our parks and special places."

On Aug. 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Organic Act, creating the National Park Service. The purpose of the Service, as identified in the Act is "... to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and 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." Founders Day is celebrated each year on August 25 in all of America's National Parks to honor the creation of the National Park Service.

Who: Gale A. Norton, secretary of the Interior
Darlene Koontz, superintendent of Bandelier National Monument

What: National Park Service Founders Day commemoration

When: Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004
11:45 a.m., MDT: Tour begins
12:30 p.m, MDT: Media availability at the visitor center

Where: Bandelier National Monument, Los Alamos, N.M.
Media joining the tour should meet at the visitor center at 11:30 a.m.

Note to Editors: Secretary Norton will hold a nationwide media telephone briefing (see time zone below) on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004, to highlight the celebration of National
Park Service Founders Day and discuss the progress being made in addressing issues related to improving the visitor experience at America's national parks. Secretary Norton will be joined on the call by:

Steve Griles, deputy secretary of the Interior, visiting Wilson's Creek National Battlefield (Missouri)

Lynn Scarlett, assistant secretary for Policy, Management and Budget, visiting
Acadia National Park (Maine)

Craig Manson, assistant secretary for Fish Wildlife and Parks, visiting the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial (Georgia)

Fran Mainella, director of the National Park Service, visiting Big Thicket National Park (Texas)

Don Murphy, deputy director of the National Park Service, Cabrillo National Monument (California)

Date: Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004

Time: Noon PDT; 1 p.m. MDT; 1 p.m. MDT; 2 p.m. CDT; 3 p.m. EDT

Call-in: MEDIA ONLY, 1-866-238-1636

Pass code: Founders Day



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