Alexander Joins Park Advocates In Promoting Centennial Projects

Knoxville (AP) -- Senator Lamar Alexander says everyone should be able to support the Bush administration's call for a major funding increase for the National Parks.

The $200 million increase proposed next year would be the first installment in a ten-year run-up to the National Parks' 100th anniversary in 2016.

Speaking to park advocates Thursday in Knoxville, Alexander said that politics aside "this is a train to get on" and described it as the kind of support for the parks he only had dreamed of.

The Tennessee Senator spoke to a forum sponsored by the nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association that is looking at projects geared to the centennial and the 75th anniversary of the Great Smokies Park next year.

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.