Thank you for your 100-year commitment to the service of our amazing national park sites. I know that it isn’t easy to manage such beauty, but through shortfalls in budgets and cuts in personnel, you’ve managed to maintain the majesty of our wild places, the truth of our historic and cultural sites, the freedom of our recreation areas, and the memories held by our battlefields, museums, cemeteries and heritage sites. You’ve protected national river- ways, seashores, and lakeshores, managing them for all of us to enjoy. Over 400 special places are now under your care, and all are better for it.
You are held to higher standards than we place on ourselves as stewards of these great spaces, yet you continue to keep the beauty of what we’ve come to expect, a priority in your daily management of America’s wild spaces. Thank you for that.
When I stand in the valley of Yosemite, I see your efforts. When I walk through a grove of Redwoods, I see your commitment to these majestic giants. When I float down the grandest of rivers, I see your efforts. It can’t be easy to keep America’s greatest landscapes standing at the ready for all their visitors, but you do it, year after year, and your efforts are appreciated.
Yes, there are issues you face as an agency that at times overshadow the great work you do in keeping America’s parks beautiful, but over time, with renewed commitment, I know that you will work through those issues and continue to stand as a symbol of pride in workplace and work stations.
So as we move into the next 100 years of the National Park Service, let us all embrace our responsibilities to these lands and to one another and work even harder to provide funding and proper resources to keep America’s wild spaces shining bright for generations to come.