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National Park Service director talks guns and bears

By Ed O'Keefe

At the start of National Park Week, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis talks to The Federal Eye in Monday's Post about this week's celebrations, the new gun laws, his 34-year agency career and his run in with a bear:

Jon Jarvis National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis.

Question: Why are parks free this week?

It's an invitation to the American public to come visit their national parks. . . . It's a great celebration and opportunity to reacquaint with our parks.

The week of festivities is also tied to the 40th anniversary of Earth Day?

Earth Day is Thursday, April 22. There are over 300 [events] across the country. We have some events right here in D.C. around the Washington Monument. We have about 600 kids coming in to participate in a range of activities.

How much will the fee waiver cost the Park Service in lost revenue?

A little less than $1 million a day, so about $9 million total.

Is it worth the cost?

Absolutely. Our fee program is a great program, because we use it specifically to improve facilities for the visitors. . . . But occasionally, it's important to waive this fee. We'll do it again in August. The fee program is only a supplement to the regular appropriations we get from Congress to operate the National Park system.

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By Ed O'Keefe  | April 19, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, From The Pages of The Post  
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