Funds needed to maintain national parks

EDITOR:

Every year Michigan’s national parks are enjoyed by millions of visitors. From Pictured Rocks to Sleeping Bear Dunes our state’s national parks offer opportunities to camp, fish, hike, and recreate.

On April 21-29, our country celebrates National Park Week, and it’s worth noting that Michigan’s national parks are huge economic drivers for our state, generating $235 million in spending in local communities and supporting 3,700 jobs. Unfortunately, they have major maintenance needs that are going unfunded.

At the Keweenaw Convention & Visitors Bureau we recognize that taking care of our national parks benefits our local communities. Michigan’s five national parks need $52 million in maintenance towards buildings, trails, electric and water lines, and industrial and military history interpretation. It’s something Congress needs to prioritize because the longer it takes the costlier the repairs become.

National parks preserve our nation’s history, provide a place for families and individuals to explore the outdoors, and have the added benefit of boosting our local economy through spending and job creation. That’s why I’m hopeful our leaders in Congress act to make sure national parks have the funding they need to remain safe and accessible in the years to come.

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