Luray, VA (APE) - President Bush took a leisural helicopter ride to Shenandoah National Forest in an attempt to rally public support for his plan to pump millions out of some of America's national parks.
"I hope the citizens groups who are concerned about national parks are able to volunteer their time to repair all the nasty trails and remind Congress about what we have done and need to continue to do as good shepherds of our own natural resources," the president said.
Bush trumpeted the fact that his new budget reallocates $230 million more from within the $2.4 billion National Parks budget than he requested last year. The funding largely will come from existing budgets for construction and waste management and go towards repairs for crumbling facilities and growing pollution problems. With the proposed selloff of oil and mineral rights in other national parks and subsequent downsizing of actual wilderness area, the president predicted that by 2008 the budget for the Park service would become revenue neutral.
Bush also called for $100 million in federal funds to match corporate ventures into oil and mineral rights management and day to day operations for the parks.
"Congress needs to hear loud and clear how important this issue of oil addiction is," Bush stated.