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NO. R-43. JOINT RESOLUTION RELATING TO VERMONT STATE PARKS.

(J.R.H. 36)

Offered by: Committee on Natural Resources and Energy.

Whereas, Vermont State Park system has a long, proud history spanning 75 years, with Mount Philo State Park being the first established in 1924, and

Whereas, the Vermont State Park system first developed in major part under the leadership of Commissioner Perry Merrill from 1929-1966 and through the efforts of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from 1933-1942, and

Whereas, the Vermont State Parks were greatly expanded during the 1960s "Beckoning Country" promotional campaign under the leadership of Secretary Albert Moulton, and

Whereas, more than 37 million visitors have come to Vermont State Parks since attendance records began in 1936, and

Whereas, at least one of Vermont's 50 state parks is within a 30-minute drive of every Vermonter who enjoys public lands for a wide variety of outdoor recreation activities, and

Whereas, the Vermont State Parks contribute more than $61 million each year to Vermont's economy, and

Whereas, Vermont State Parks have even greater potential to enhance tourism, already the second highest industry in the state, and

Whereas, Vermont State Parks serve as an environmental education and conservation laboratory for colleges and schools throughout Vermont, and

Whereas, Vermont State Parks play a vital role in conserving the state's natural, archaeological, and cultural heritage, and

Whereas, Vermont State Parks are managing many new types of parks, including Alburg Dunes State Park, Green River Reservoir State Park, Lowell Lake State Park, and Mallett's Bay State Park, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the Vermont General Assembly declares 1999 "The Year of Vermont State Parks," and be it further

Resolved: That the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is encouraged to continue diversifying and expanding recreation opportunities which are compatible with the state's natural environment and rural ways of life, and be it further

Resolved: That, in recognition of the history, public investment, and value of state parks to Vermont residents and visitors, the Vermont General Assembly will consider ways to assist the park system in covering costs of operations of parks which have no means of being self-supporting, such as low-impact primitive parks and natural areas, and be it further

Resolved: That the General Assembly is pleased to recognize the efforts of the many employees of the Vermont State Parks in providing a high-quality outdoor recreation experience for Vermonters and their guests, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State is directed to send a copy of this resolution to Conrad Motyka, Commissioner of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and to the families of Perry Merrill and Albert Moulton.