Each year more than 41 million visitors travel to the many national parks that help make California the awe-inspiring place where we choose to live, work and raise a family. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, two of the largest units in the National Park Service (NPS), are right here in our community. These regional assets have a combined size of 865,000 acres.
With diverse scenic vistas and world-class recreational opportunities, Sequoia and Kings Canyon alone attract nearly 2 million visitors annually. Additionally, the parks support over 2,000 private sector jobs with visitors contributing $148.1 million to the regional economy.
But now aging park infrastructure is in desperate need of attention. According to the NPS, deferred maintenance in Sequoia and Kings Canyon currently exceeds $162 million. And if not addressed, these costs will increase.
Fortunately, a bipartisan group of lawmakers have introduced a bill that would begin to address deferred maintenance in our parks. The National Park Service Legacy Act (Senate Bill 751; House Resolution 2584), will fund repairs to roads, sewers, and the drinking water systems in our national parks.
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The Legacy Act will protect these amazing assets, our economy, and the California quality of life we enjoy.
Ida Perkins, Greater Tehachapi Chamber of Commerce, Tehachapi