Department Of Interior

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CONTACT: Hugh Vickery
For Immediate Release:July 28, 2004


Secretary Norton to Speak on State of National Parks, Hold Press Availability



(SEATTLE) - Interior Secretary Gale Norton will speak on the state of the National Park System and the progress made under the Bush administration to address longstanding repair and maintenance needs at our national parks at American Legislative Exchange Council's annual meeting on July 29.

"Under President Bush's leadership, National Park employees have undertaken 4,000 maintenance and repair projects in parks across the country," Norton said. "Visitors are seeing improved trails, more accessible campgrounds, rehabilitated visitor centers, better roads, stabilized historic structures and reduced environmental threats through better sewer, water and drinking systems."

"We have more money today per acre, per employee and per visitor in the National Park system than at any time in the history of the parks," she said.
At Mount Rainier National Park, for example, the Parks Service recently completed restoration of the Paradise Guide House and installed new underground power lines to replace overhead lines among other projects.
Secretary Norton will hold a press availability immediately before the speech.

Who: Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton
What: Speech to the American Legislative Exchange Council
When: 12 p.m. Thursday, July 29, 2004. Media availability at 11:45.
Where: Washington State Trade and Convention Center, Seattle.



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