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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Support The National Park Service Legacy Act

Above, the historic Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Here's a national park-oriented editorial I totally agree with. It is from The News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington.

It is in support of the National Park Service Legacy Act. The intent of the legislation is to address the growing backlog of needed maintenance and repairs at our national parks that have been deferred for the past several years. It is fast approaching $12 billion.

Here's part of what The News Tribune editorialized:
At a time when talk of America’s failing infrastructure focuses on roads, bridges and airports, leave it to a pair of Puget Sound area congressmen to bring vital attention to our crumbling national parks system. 
Reps. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, and Dave Reichert, R-Auburn, are part of a bipartisan team that recently introduced the National Park Service Legacy Act. If it passes as we hope, the Park Service will be able to take gradual steps to address a daunting backlog of deferred maintenance projects. 
In 2016, the NPS saw a record 330 million visits, but decades of rising use are taking a toll. Roads, visitor facilities, electric and water systems, trails and cultural and historic artifacts have fallen into disrepair. 
Many roads are closed indefinitely or reduced to one lane due to storm damage or deferred maintenance. Veteran TNT outdoor writer Craig Hill says some trail damage at Mount Rainier is more than a decade old, dating to the historic floods of 2006.

I am, for one, all in favor of fiscal restraint in government, but the parks do need to be maintained so that they continue be safely enjoyed by visitors and to benefit the neighboring communities.

As the editorial states:
People who visit national parks for recreation and wildlife that live there wouldn’t be the only beneficiaries. Every tax dollar invested in the park system generates $10 in economic activity within 60 miles of national park sites, according a NPS study.

It isn't going to get any cheaper to get the backlogged work done. It is high time to get the work started. Contact your member of Congress and ask him/her to support the National Park Service Legacy Act.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/opinion/article153673079.html#storylink=cpy

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