Time is short in this session of Congress, and conservation and tourism groups are hoping for a vote on a bill to address the massive maintenance backlog in the national parks.
The Restore Our Parks is a bipartisan proposal to direct up to six and a half billion dollars of revenue from offshore oil and gas royalties to fix crumbling roads and buildings, plus electrical and wastewater systems at the parks.
Marcia Argust with the Pew Chartiable Trust says parks such as Yosemite, Joshua Tree, and Sequoia are crucial to the state’s tourist economy,
“California receives over 40 million visitors each year to its national parks. They spend over $1.9 billion in local communities, and generate over 25,000 jobs each year.”
Argust says the bill has passed comittees in both the US House and Senate but needs a floor vote in each house, ideally before the end of the year. A recent study estimates that tackling the estimated 12-billion-diollar maintenance backlog could stimulate the creation of 110-thousands jobs nationwide.