Coalition Pushes for Diversity at National Parks

Coalition Pushes for Diversity at National Parks
A coalition of more than 30 civil rights, environmental justice and conservation groups is pushing for greater efforts to promote diversity in Rocky Mountain National Park and other national parks and public lands.

The group calls itself the Centennial Initiative because of this year’s 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and is hoping to increase:
The use of national parks by minorities
Employment of minorities at parks
The number of parks and monuments that highlight the role of minorities in American history.

At the same time, a group of 36 House Democrats, led by Rep. Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, has written a letter to Jon Jarvis, director of the National Park Service, using the centennial to push for some of the same efforts toward inclusiveness on public lands.

“Under your leadership, the National Park Service has taken important steps to ensure our national park system better reflects our country’s growing diversity, however more work needs to be done,” the letter states.

Grijalva is the ranking Democrat on the House National Resources Committee. Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, a member of the committee, also signed the letter.

The coalition, which includes the National Urban League and League of United Latin American Citizens, called on President Barack Obama late last month to issue a memorandum on the centennial of the park service Aug. 25 that encourages federal land management agencies to reflect the growing diversity of the country.

"The face of America is rapidly changing, yet our public lands do not reflect this demographic…
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