WASHINGTON -- Communities that serve as gateways to national parks
have formed the National Alliance of Gateway Communities (NAGC)
lobby Congress on behalf of the parks, forests and other federal
Bob Warren, general manager of the Redding Convention and
Visitors Bureau/Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association in Redding,
Calif., was elected president of the organization.
"Places like Jackson Hole, Wyo., and Carlsbad, N. M., are very
tied into the fortunes of the particular public land that they
happen to be close to," said Aubrey King, Washington representative
for the group. "We are talking about communities that are more
dependent on travel and tourism than any other communities in the
King said the NAGC intends to develop relationships with federal
agencies, such as the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land
Management, to support initiatives that benefit public lands,
visitors and gateway communities.
"For example, there is legislation in Congress that could bring
about some changes in the Land Water Conservation Fund, which for
the last three or four decades has been the main source for funding
for land acquisition" by both federal and state governments, King
NAGC also is monitoring funding for public land agencies and
supports the Clinton administration's budget proposal, which
includes $2 billion for the national park system. "It was certainly
gratifying to see the extent to which the President's budget
recognizes the need for more investment," King said.