In his Fiscal Year 2008 budget, announced in February, President Bush proposed the an increase in operating funds for the national parks (a $258 million increase over Fiscal Year 2006, for a total of $2.4 billion) and called for three new $100 million components that could provide up to three billion dollars over ten years in increased philanthropic, partnership and government resources for national park programs and projects. These various initiatives represent the backbone of National Park Centennial Initiative, which will culminate in the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service (NPS) in 2016.
“This is money above and beyond our regular budget,” NPS Director Mary Bomar said. “It includes $100 million of additional operating funds for parks each year and up to $200 million annually for special projects and programs paid for by a combination of $100 million in donations and a federal match of up to $100 million.”
“By the National Park Service’s 100th birthday,” Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne said, “the initiative will have provided significant resources to restore and better protect the parks’ natural, cultural, recreational and historic resources. There will be new and improved visitor centers, trails, campgrounds, and other facilities; more ranger-led programs; greater volunteerism and philanthropy. Visitors’ park experiences will be significantly enhanced. In short, our national park system will be prepared for its next century of excellence in conservation, preservation and enjoyment.”