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Letter to the Editor: Congress should provide funding for park maintenance

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First light hitting Electric Peak in Yellowstone National Park. NPS PHOTO

To the Editor,

Montana’s national parks are some of the best in the country, but they desperately need repairs. Parks across our county, like those in Montana, are facing unreliable funding, record visitation and aging infrastructure.

That’s why I am encouraged by a bipartisan proposal in Congress to address the $12 billion in national parks deferred maintenance. The Restore Our Parks Act (ROPA) would set aside $6.5 billion over the next five years to fix dilapidated trails, buildings, roads, bridges, monuments and historic markers in our parks.  Amazingly, 330 members of the House of Representatives and 43 U.S. Senators—from both parties—are cosponsoring this effort.

With all this support, you would think this would be an easy thing for Congress to get done. You’d be mistaken. Despite all the support for national parks, Congress is still struggling to push this popular legislation over the finish line.

There is still time, and I hope they get the job done. Passage of ROPA and full and permanent funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund are both needed to ensure our parks stay open, safe and accessible.

Kim Lloyd

Helena, Montana

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