Department of the Interior

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Office of the Secretary
August 22, 2006
Joan Moody, 202-208-3280
Al Nash, 307-344-2010 or 2011
Secretary Kempthorne Will Open Yellowstone Visitor Center In Celebration of National Park Service's 90th Anniversary

YELLOWSTONE — On Friday, Aug. 25 Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will help Yellowstone National Park celebrate the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service and christen the park’s new Canyon Visitor Education Center, the first major visitor center development in the park in more than 30 years. A full day of activities is planned to celebrate the event including ranger programs, a concert and lecture.

WHO: Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne
Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming
National Park Service Director Fran Mainella
Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Suzanne Lewis, Host
WHAT: Canyon Visitor Education Center Grand Opening: The grand opening of the new facility marks the first major visitor center development in the park in three decades. Because $8.6 million of the $10.5 million used to fund the project came from entrance fees, this the largest fee demo program in the National Park System to date. The fees were collected from people who visited Yellowstone between 1997 and 2005.
WHEN: 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Opening Ceremony
10:45 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Secretary Kempthorne media availability
11:00 a.m.- Director Mainella gives media tour of center
11:00 a.m - 4.p.m Center opens to the public for full day of activities starting with a concert by Bruce Anfinson, western folk recording artist and including “Yellow Bus” tours, ranger talks and walks and a young scientist program.
7:00 p.m. Lecture, center’s theater, “Yellowstone Hotspot Theory,” by University of Utah geophysicist Dr. Robert B. Smith.
WHERE: Canyon Village in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. For logistical info, call 307-344-2013.
WHY: The new visitor center addresses the park's deferred maintenance goals by replacing the obsolete visitor center with a new, state-of-the-art center where interactive exhibits will help visitors understand the geology of Yellowstone and its underlying “Supervolcano.” Aug. 25 is the 90th anniversary of the National Park Service Organic Act of 1916.