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June 19, 2002 02:43PM
<HTML>Yosemite National Park News Release

June 18, 2002
For Immediate Release

National Park Service Director Lauds President Bush's Initiative To Promote Improved Health Through Visiting National Parks Yosemite National Park to Participate in Entrance Fee-Free Weekend in National Parks, June 22-23, 2002

National Park Service Director Fran Mainella applauded the efforts of President Bush's new Healthier US Initiative announced June 12 to promote improved health through the benefits of physical activity and the stress reducing experiences that visiting national parks and participating in park programs provide. As part of the President's Comprehensive Fitness Agenda, the Initiative will include an entrance fee-free weekend on June 22-23, 2002, to all national park sites across the country.

"I am very pleased to join with the President and Interior Secretary Norton in inviting all of America to come out and visit the magnificent natural and cultural resources throughout our country," said Director Mainella. "We share a deep appreciation of the value of national parks and the role they play in the physical fitness and well-being of all Americans. The entrance fee-free weekend will be a wonderful opportunity for our visitors to experience national parks and exercise their minds and bodies while uplifting their spirits."

Yosemite National Park provides a variety of activities that visitors can derive physical and spiritual health from. Climbing, hiking, ranger-led walks, bike rides, and horseback rides are a sampling of the great opportunities to explore what Yosemite National Park's natural wonders and rich cultural history offer.

"Yosemite National Park is excited to participate in the fee-free weekend and President Bush's Healthier US Initiative. This park provides great opportunities for American families to engage in physical activities that are fun to do and allow them to learn together," said David Mihalic, Superintendent of Yosemite National Park.

The National Park Service, an Interior Department agency, manages the National Park System, which comprises 385 areas covering more than 84 million acres in every state (except Delaware), the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails, and the White House.

-NPS-</HTML>
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