Restore Our Public Parks and Land Act

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Restore Our Public Parks and Land Act

Sophia Eckhart

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America is well known for its National Parks; however, over the years, America has been neglecting our park system. There is a running backlog of repairs and general maintenance for these public lands, which currently costs $11.9 billion. Washington alone has about $428 million worth of backlogged maintenance and repairs , $186 million of that is Mount. Rainier and $128 million of it is form the Olympic Mountains. Currently, several Congress members are pushing for a new act, the Restore Our Public Parks and Land Act, which should allocate up to $6.5 billion over five years to the parks and lands of our nations.

Now, where is this money coming from? Will taxes need to be raised to pay for this bill? Actually, this money isn’t coming from taxpayer’s pockets, its coming from the revenue we make off of the energy leases on federal lands and waters, think of oil, gas and renewable energies. Millions of people visit our parks every year, taking a toll on them, damaging ecosystems and infrastructure such as trails and buildings. If Congress can pass this bill, the conditions of our parks will begin to get much better. Last year, similar legislation was made, however, the bill failed to pass.

One of Washington’s representative, Rep. Derek Kilmer is one of the acts most vocal supporters. Him, along with many other congress members held a news conference to push for the bill just a few weeks ago. This is what he had to say, “The Olympic National Park is the crown jewel of our region – but our crown jewel is getting a little rusty. I am proud to lead this bipartisan effort to provide dedicated funding to address the much-needed repairs at Olympic National Park and throughout our National Park system so these assets can continue to provide amazing visitor experiences and serve as economic drivers for rural communities for future generations.”  What he said is very true, if this bill passes our National Parks will greatly improve and everyone will benefit from it.

We need to take action to preserve our national lands that all Americans love so much. This bill will cost very little and yet improve our national parks greatly.We need to make sure that this bill doesn’t fail to pass like it did last year. If you want to show your support for the bill, feel free to write, call or email any one of our Representatives or Senators, like Rep. Derek Kilmer to tell them of your support.