While there is much conversation about what divides us, our national parks continue to serve as common ground. Unfortunately, that ground is unsteady under the impacts of a $12 billion infrastructure repair backlog. But fortunately, President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have pledged to make infrastructure repairs a national priority.
During his address to Congress and the American public, President Trump called on Congress to pass an infrastructure bill, saying that “Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports and railways gleaming across our beautiful land.”
There are no more beautiful lands in America than our national parks and no better place to start rebuilding our infrastructure than fixing our parks. In Zinke’s confirmation hearing, he stated that addressing the national park service backlog was one of his three top priorities.
Infrastructure repair challenges affect nearly every national park across the country. National park sites in California have a more than $1.76 billion price tag for needed repairs; $555 million of this backlog is in needed projects for Yosemite alone. It is time for Trump, our members of Congress and Zinke to put their words into action, to make funding our national parks a priority again.
Coke Hallowell, Friant