Value of Parks to United States

I have had the great pleasure of reading your incisive editorial (June 16), "America the Beautiful."

The portrayal of the parks and the inspiration they can provide is a matter of record and a source of pride, not only for those of us fortunate enough to work for the National Park Service, but also for every person who visits a park and for everyone who draws satisfaction from knowing that these places have been set aside for ourselves and for future generations.

Parks represent the very best that this nation has to offer and the very best that it has accomplished. It is a no accident that some of the world's great landmarks--both natural sites like the Grand Canyon, Old Faithful, and Yosemite Valley, and historical treasures like the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, the Statue of Liberty, the homes of great Presidents, and much more--have been entrusted to our care.

The National Park Service is, literally, assigned the task of being the guardian of a national heritage. One need never have been to Independence Hall or Mt. McKinley to appreciate the importance of protecting such sites and assuring their continuing availability to all who might someday have the opportunity to visit them.

Please let me extend an open invitation to you, and to everyone, to share with us in nurturing the National Park System. The responsibility may be ours, but it cannot be met without the help of the people.

Again, thank you for an evocative editorial that defines so clearly the value of parks in modern America.



National Park Service

Washington, D.C.

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