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Interior Secreatary Helps Launch Park Project

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Interior Secretary Sally Jewell was on hand in Grand Teton National Park Thursday morning to help unveil a $16-million public/private project to renovate the Jenny Lake visitor complex and trail system to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point in time for the National Park Service Centennial in 2016.  Much of the project is being conducted through the Grand Teton National Park Foundation which Jewell says plays an important role in these times of limited budgets.  Jewell says the federal government has been operating without a budget since 2012.  Jewell told the group gathered at Jenny Lake, “Continuing resolutions and sequesters – and it’s really rough.  And work that the Grand Teton foundation does should be the margin of excellence, not the margin of survival.”  Still, she quickly touted that there are times like these when the donors and supporters of the foundation become the margin of survival for the park.  Jewell says beyond that, the park is now celebrating the launch of a project funded by $13-million in private money through the foundation augmented by $3-million from the federal government.  She points to the community which she said has set a very high bar for what can be done when the public and private sector work together.  Further, she adds it spells a benefit for everyone.  She says this park alone supports $436-million of economic activity in the region, and broadly supports the jobs of 6400 people who have their jobs just because the park exists.  She adds that the Interior Department has done a study which shows that in the state of Wyoming, 10-million visitors have come to the state because of the interior resources here which include Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, other national monuments and BLM lands; generating more than a billion dollars of economic output and 13,600 jobs.  Jewell predicted the future will bring a revival of the civilian conservation corps that created the parks under a public/private partnership like the one being unveiled at Jenny Lake which will conduct similar work in national and local parks across the nation.

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