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.
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