“There is nothing so American as our national parks… the fundamental idea behind the parks… is that the country belongs to the people.” – Franklin D Roosevelt

The National Park Service turned 100 years old on August 25, 2016, an occasion widely marked across the United States.

“Over the course of the past 100 years, our national park system has grown to include more than 400 locations across our country. Ranging from seashores to waterfalls, winding trails to rugged mountains, historic battlefields to monuments and memorials, every treasured site under the NPS is uniquely American,” President Barack Obama said in his proclamation on the centennial. “Our parks play a critical role in environmental stewardship, ensuring that precious wildlife can thrive and that ecosystems can provide the many benefits on which we depend. They have sustained the stories and cultures that define the American experience, and they embody the people and movements that distinguish our Nation’s journey.”

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) released the following statement on the 100th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service:

“I’d like to wish a very Happy 100th Birthday to the National Park Service! As someone who loves the outdoors, I know firsthand that what makes living in the Pacific Northwest so special is the natural environment that surrounds us. Washington state’s national parks, including the beautiful North Cascades National Park in the First District, provide many invaluable opportunities for education and recreation. It is crucial that we continue working to ensure the National Park Service has the resources available to maintain our park system for the next hundred years and more.” – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene

DelBene has received the Friend of the National Park Award for her votes in the 113th Congress to help protect and enhance America’s national parks. Washington state has 18 national parks and historic sites, attracting more than 7.5 million visitors last year. The outdoor recreation industry supports more than 200,000 Washington jobs and contributes more than $20 billion a year to the state economy.

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) released the following statement on the centennial of the National Park Service.

“As a nation, we owe it to future generations to preserve and protect our outdoor spaces, and on the centennial of the National Park Service this week we recognize our unparalleled national park system. I plan to keep pushing for strong investments in the National Park Service and the Land and Wildlife Conservation Fund, which supports projects in Washington state and across the country. I will do whatever it takes to support the protection of our precious public lands.” – Senator Patty Murray

In light of the NPS centennial, Senator Murray also highlighted the continued push for permanent reauthorization of the Land and Wildlife Conservation Fund (LWCF), which helps protect and enhance our national parks. Created in 1965, the LWCF is an enormously successful tool for protecting our nation’s outdoor heritage for future generations, improving access to existing public lands, supporting working forests, and enhancing recreation opportunities in urban areas. The LWCF has put more than $637 million into Washington projects, including the protection of more than 120,000 acres of land and the creation or enhancement of hundreds of recreation facilities.

The Energy Policy Modernization Act that was passed by the Senate in April also permanently reauthorizes the Historic Preservation Fund and creates the National Park Maintenance and Revitalization Fund, to address the deferred maintenance needs at National Park Service sites across the country, including important infrastructure improvements at Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, and the North Cascades National Park.‎

inslee_rainierWashington Governor Jay Inslee took to Facebook to declare his appreciation for America’s national parks.

“Trudi and I on Mount Rainier in 1970 – hiking has always been one of our family’s favorite activities. Growing up, my parents worked as summer guides at Mount Rainier National Park and led conservation work on trails and wilderness areas. The park was as beautiful then as it is today. Thanks, NPS, for keeping our national treasures clean and safe, and ensuring that we can enjoy them now and in the future. Happy centennial!” – Governor Jay Inslee

The National Park Foundation, a national charitable nonprofit whose sole mission is to directly support the National Park Service, issued a special call to action on this day.

“The centennial celebrates the achievements of the past 100 years, but it is really about the future. It’s about kicking off a second century of stewardship for America’s national parks and for communities across the nation. Most importantly, it’s about inviting you to join us. We all have a role to play in ensuring that future generations of Americans will be able to enjoy the thrilling experiences of nature and wildlife, history and culture, and the spirit of adventure that is waiting at every national park.”