Unanimous Oregon Delegation Requests $2.5 Million for Crater Lake Visitor Center – October 31, 2007

Unanimous Oregon Delegation Requests $2.5 Million for Crater Lake Visitor Center

Crater Lake Trust Press Release

October 31, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC – A unanimous Oregon Congressional delegation today sent a letter to Jim Nussle, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, calling on the Bush administration to include $2.5 million in the Interior Department’s budget to create a new Visitor Education Center at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.Representative Greg Walden stated: “My family and I have visited, hiked in and enjoyed the wonders of Crater Lake National Park many times and it is one of the most awe-inspiring wonders of the world and a defining natural feature of our great state of Oregon. As the deepest lake in the United States and the purest lake in the world, Crater Lake annually draws 500,000 visitors from around the world and we need the proper facilities to help those visitors explore and learn about our wonderful park.  I am very happy to join in a bipartisan effort with all my Oregon House and Senate colleagues to support this effort.”Representative Peter DeFazio added, “Crater Lake is a national treasure, and it deserves to have facilities worthy of its unique beauty, its history, and its ecological importance.”In a creative public-private partnership, federal funds would be matched by $2.5 million in private contributions to be raised by the nonprofit Crater Lake National Park Trust. “Oregonians love Crater Lake,” noted Executive Director Jeff Allen. “By making donations to the Trust and purchasing Crater Lake license plates, they have already given over $3 million to Park facilities and programs. Oregonians will give – but the Federal government must also do its part.”

Allen noted there are at least two ways the federal government could provide matching funds. “There is legislation pending to create a 10-year Centennial Challenge matching fund of $100 million per year for projects just like this, and we strongly support it,” noted Allen. “However, we are also pursuing direct funding for this project on its own merits.”

The Trust hopes to have federal and private funding secured in time to break ground by Summer 2009, in time for Oregon 150, the state’s sesquicentennial celebration. “We can’t think of a better ‘birthday present’ for the state of Oregon,” said Allen.

The Crater Lake National Park Trust works to help protect, promote, and enhance Crater Lake National Park, its unique water purity, and its value for human inspiration and knowledge. More information is available online at www.craterlaketrust.org. Photos of the current building and artist renderings of the proposed Visitor Education Center are also available from the Trust.

Contact: Jeff Allen, Crater Lake Trust 541.490.9021 (m)

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