Department Of Interior
|Office of the Secretary||
Contact: Shane Wolfe
|For Immediate Release: August 20, 2004||
Secretary Norton Speaks to Recreational Vehicle Owners in Redmond, Oregon
REDMOND, OREGON - Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton yesterday evening addressed thousands of members of the Family Motor Coach Association at their 72nd International Convention in Redmond, Ore., telling them of the unprecedented financial support President Bush and the Department of the Interior are providing to maintain and improve facilities at America's national parks.
"As the secretary in charge or our national park system, it was a real honor to meet and talk with so many people from a group that so often recreates on public lands," said Secretary Norton. "I know that they - along with all recreational users -- share with me a special fondness for and sense of ownership of our national parks and other public lands."
Secretary Norton discussed the state of America's national parks, reminding them of the record investment President Bush has made in America's national parks.
"President Bush has committed $4.9 billion to address the longstanding backlog of park maintenance projects that he inherited when he took office," said Secretary Norton. "The President is meeting that pledge. The annual budget of the National Park Service is now $1.8 billion - 20% higher than when he took office."
In addition, Secretary Norton urged the RV owners to become involved in the "Take Pride in America" program.
Supported by numerous private associations and organizations, Take Pride in America is a national partnership that aims to inspire a new generation of volunteers to put their love of country to work to improve our national parks, wildlife refuges, public lands, cultural and historic sites, playgrounds and other recreation areas.
"From Oregon to Florida and Maine to Hawaii, people have signed up to volunteer on public lands and waters to make the places we relax, play and visit better for all Americans.," said Secretary Norton. "They are making a real difference."
Secretary Norton launched the Take Pride in America program on April 16, 2003, at the National Press Club. On June 27, Secretary Norton named Marti Allbright, former chief deputy attorney general of Colorado, as the director of Take Pride.
For additional information, go to www.takepride.gov.
Earlier in the day, Secretary Norton the Monaco Coach Corp. factory in Coburg, Ore. and met with workers who manufacture recreational vehicles at the facility.
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