WASHINGTON, D.C.—The following is a statement from Pamela Rivera, Partnership and Constituency Advocate of Voces Verdes, on the Centennial celebration of the National Park Service:
“Voces Verdes celebrates the National Park Service’s Centennial and calls for a more inclusive approach to engaging Latino and otherdiverse voices in the decision-making, management and enjoyment of our nation’s public lands.
“Over the past century, our national public lands have played an important role in protecting our clean air, water and natural resources as well as our cultural heritage by providing opportunities for recreation and respite.
“Unfortunately, there is a disconnect between these places and many people in the U.S., some communities feel unwelcome in public lands, and others can’t find their history reflected in the stories told, the places protected or people working in the outdoors. With the rapid changes our landscapes are experiencing due climate change, it is important and urgent to set a more inclusive vision for the next century that reflects the diversity of our nation’s people, respect for all cultures, and engagement of all communities to protect and be stewards of America’s national parks and public lands heritage.”