Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Interior secretary calls for rebuilding national parks that have fallen into disrepair

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke reiterated his support for addressing a maintenance backlog at national parks during a visit Tuesday to the one named for a U.S. president known for championing conservation. Zinke toured the Peaceful Valley Ranch at Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a former dude ranch that is on the National Register of Historic Places but in disrepair and in the middle of a $4.3-million rehabilitation project. Zinke said it exemplified the types of projects needed at parks nationwide. "We want to make sure that we focus on rebuilding our parks," Zinke said. "The president is a builder. He loves the idea of rebuilding." The Interior Department is trying to address an $11.7-billion maintenance backlog in national parks. Zinke supports the National Park Restoration Act in Congress, which would use federal energy revenue to provide up to $18 billion over the next 10 years for a fund to address deferred maintenance. Another bill in Congress, the National Park Service Legacy Act, would provide $500 million annually from federal oil and gas revenue until 2047. A spokeswoman for Zinke said he had not taken a position on that bill...MORE

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